Introduction to the 2012 Million Writers Award

When I founded the online journal storySouth more than 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. And now here we go again, launching the 9th go around of the storySouth Million Writers Award.

To make sure the award runs smoothly this year, please make note of these points and changes:

  1. Only stories first published in online literary journals, magazines, and e-zines that have an editorial process, during the 2011 calendar year, are eligible for nomination. This means that an editor must have selected the story for publication. Self-published stories are not eligible. Stories reprinted online, but originally published in a print edition, are not eligible.
  2. 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.
  3. I will no longer pick the top ten stories of the year. Instead, three judges selected by me will take over this duty. I hope this will create an even more diverse and exciting group of finalists.
  4. Last year we did an experiment, declaring stories published in online editions of print magazines to no longer be eligible for the award. This change is hereby revoked. The Million Writers Award is for online publications, so if the online edition of a print magazine publishes short stories those stories are eligible provided the stories were first published online (and not first published in the print edition).

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