Florida has long been known as the state where things get…a little weird.
Home to the space program and the Skunk Ape, sunny beaches and haunted theaters, pastel suburbs and the deepest swamp, there are two Floridas. But only one is fantastic…
Some ideas to get you started:
- What if some of the “tourists” on Clearwater beach weren’t really from Michigan or Canada? Or Earth?
- Have you seen the Weeki Watchee mermaids lately? They look…different.
- The Mote Marine Laboratory just analyzed the DNA of manatees and found something…unexpected.
- If you take a tour of the Launch Control Center building at Kennedy Space Center, the elevator only goes to one floor. What’s in between?
- Write an abstract for a research paper about the results of an expedition to study the Florida swamp ape.
- The Tampa Theatre, Cuban Club, Don CeSar Hotel and Haslam’s bookstore are all said to be haunted. What kind of ghosts might haunt more modern Florida buildings?
- Tampa Bay Times book critic Colette Bancroft
- Award-winning author of seven speculative fiction works Tenea D. Johnson
- 2016 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Science Fiction novel of 2016 finalist Rick Wilber
- Contest is open to all students over the age of 13 in grades 9 to 12 in public, private and home schools in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties.
- Stories must be previously unpublished and unsold.
- There is no fee to enter.
- Entrants may submit an unlimited number of stories.
- Stories must be submitted in MS Word (doc or docx) or Portable Document Format (pdf) format.
- Stories should be between 1,000 and 5,000 words.
- Stories should be typed in 12-point Times New Roman or Arial font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins and numbered pages.
- The author’s name should not appear on the manuscript.
- All entries must be received by May 20, 2022, 11:59 PM EST. Entrants are strongly encouraged to submit in advance of the deadline in case of technical difficulties.
- View the complete official rules.