Introduction to the 2011 Million Writers Award

When I founded the online journal storySouth ten years ago, the literary establishment didn't believe online magazines were legitimate places to publish fiction. In fact, many of these heads-in-the-sand fools also believed that the internet was a passing fad.

Now these same people are tweeting each other links to their favorite online stories. It's amazing how the literary world can change in a decade.

Because the world of online publishing has changed so much, last year I asked if the Million Writers Award was still needed. The response from editors, writers, and readers was a massive "Hell yes!" As everyone pointed out, the award brings needed attention and exposure to new and emerging writers while also showcasing the best online magazines.

So here we go again, launching the 8th annual edition of the storySouth Million Writers Award.

However, just because people like our award doesn't mean we're sitting on our haunches. Several major changes have been instituted to ensure the award process continues to run smoothly.

  1. In order to keep people from spamming multiple nominations, any reader, writer, or editor who nominates stories will have to log into this site using either Facebook, Twitter, Typepad, or another social media login. The lists of ways to log in is rather long so I'll be surprised if too many people have a problem. But if you do please contact me to arrange another way of uploading your nominations.
  2. I will no longer be the only judge to pick the top ten stories of the year. Instead, two other judges will join me in this duty. I hope this will help create a diverse and interesting group of finalists.
  3. Stories published in online editions of print magazines are no longer eligible, even if the story was originally published online or was only published in the magazine's online edition. The Million Writers Award is for online publications. So while we applaud the many print magazines now publishing online stories, we can not consider these stories for the award.

The literary world has changed massively in the last decade and I'd like to think storySouth and the Million Writers Award played a part in shaking up the old ways of doing things. It'll be interesting to see what the coming decade brings.


Jason Sanford