The Speculative Literature Foundation

SLF Awards

The SLF Fountain Award is on hiatus, but will return in the near future.

The Fountain Award carries a prize of $1000, given annually to a speculative short story of exceptional literary quality. The award is judged by a select jury, and chosen from work nominated by magazine and anthology editors. Publications of any and all genres are encouraged to nominate qualifying material. Each publication may nominate up to three stories for inclusion, from work published in the previous calendar year.

The SLF is delighted to announce the 2005 Fountain Award winner: "Girl Reporter", by Stephanie Harrell! The jurors for this year were Gwenda Bond, Carol Emshwiller, Jeffrey Ford, James Patrick Kelly, and Mary Anne Mohanraj. More details, including honorable mentions.

The 2004 Fountain Award winner was Jeffrey Ford's "The Annals of Eelin-Ok," published in The Faery Reel. The jurors for that year were Matthew Cheney, Gavin Grant, Patricia McKillip, Vandana Singh, and Alison Smith. More details, including honorable mentions.

The 2003 Fountain Award winner was Alison Smith's "The Specialist," published in McSweeney's. The jurors for that year were Heinz Insu Fenkl, John Kessel, Larissa Lai, Kelly Link, and Maureen McHugh. More details, including honorable mentions.

Nomination Guidelines (2005)

The award is intended for short fiction; any story submitted should contain some form of speculative element. Possible genres include (but are not limited to): magical realism, slipstream, science fiction, fantasy, fable, modern folk and fairy tales, cyberpunk, ghost stories, alternate history, interstitial, etc. If an editor is not certain whether a particular piece will qualify, they should feel free to submit it in any case; the determination of whether it is appropriate will be decided by that year's jury.

A short story is defined as a story up to 10,000 words in length. We will consider any original stories which fall within this length limitation, including short-shorts; no reprints, please.

Each publication may choose up to three stories to nominate, from work published in the previous calendar year (2005).

  • To nominate, e-mail attached .rtf or .doc format files (in standard manuscript format, double-spaced, etc., suitable for print-out) to FountainAward@speclit.org. If the work appeared online, you may alternatively simply send us the relevant URL(s).
  • Stories printed out in standard manuscript format may also be sent to The Fountain Award, 2110 East Mifflin Street, Madison, WI 53704.
  • Editors may also send the actual publication containing a story (magazine, chapbook, etc), with a cover letter specifying which stories are being nominated. We encourage you to do so, and if you can send six copies for our jury, that would be very much appreciated.
  • For all nominations, please include the name of your publication, your name, and your position (i.e., The Pacific Magazine, Jane Smith, Editor-in-Chief, etc.).
  • One set of nominations per publication, which must be received by February 10, 2006.

Please note that nomination by a publication also constitutes permission for the Foundation to list the publication's name as a participating publication. Please direct any questions to Karen Meisner, Award Administrator, at FountainAward@speclit.org.

Eligible Publications

Any paying online or print magazine or anthology is eligible to nominate fiction for this award. For the purposes of this award, 'paying' is defined as paying a minimum of 1 cent/word or $5/story, or (in the case of print publications) four contributors' copies, for any nominated pieces. Whether the publication also carries other reprint or original fiction, which may have been donated or paid at a lower rate, is immaterial for our purposes. Please note that a single-author collection is not equivalent to an anthology; work published in single-author collections is not eligible for nomination. Editors may not nominate their own self-published fiction for this award.

Please note: The Foundation reserves the right to exclude publications from consideration if we deem it necessary; any such exclusions will be publicly listed on this site.

Karen Meisner, Awards Administrator - FountainAward@speclit.org

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