The 2018 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award Contest is now closed for submissions.
Please check back here at the beginning of July for the announcement of our finalists.

Baen Books is excited to announce the fifth annual Baen Fantasy Adventure Award. The award recognizes the best original adventure fantasy short story in the style of fantasy greats like Larry Correia, Mercedes Lackey, Elizabeth Moon, Andre Norton, J.R.R. Tolkien, and David Weber.

2018 Finalists

“Spun of Salt and Stone” by Deborah L. Davitt
“The Lady of Pain” by Steve DuBois
“Deny the World with a Thought” by Benjamin Scott Farthing
“The Puzzle Vault” by Auston Habershaw
“The Memory Bank & Trust” by Patrick Hurley
“Ashes for Ashes” by Kevin Kauffmann
“Luchadora” by Melissa Mead
“The Deadliest Dish” by David Samuels
“Ash-Eater” by Benjamin Tyler Smith
“Dragon’s Hand” by David VonAllmen

The winners will be announced at the start of the Baen Travelling Roadshow on Saturday, August 4th, 2018 as part of the Writer’s Symposium at GenCon in Indianapolis.

Contest Rules
  • Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words. It must be a work of fantasy, though all fantasy genres are open, e.g. epic fantasy, heroic fantasy, sword and sorcery, contemporary fantasy, etc.
  • No entry fee. But only one submission per person . . . we suggest your best one!
  • No reprints.
  • All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, poetry, song lyrics, settings and/or characters from published gaming worlds or another author’s works of fiction will not be considered.
  • E-mail submissions only. Send entries as .RTF attachments to:
  • Please put the word SUBMISSION in the subject line when sending a contest entry and QUESTION in the subject line for questions to the contest administrator.
  • Please include the following in the body of your email:
    • The title of the work
    • The author's name, address and telephone number
    • An approximate word-count
  • The manuscript should be a RTF attachment, in standard manuscript format and should be titled and numbered on every page, but the author's name MUST BE DELETED to facilitate fair judgingClick here for our standard manuscript format guidelines.
  • Employees of Baen Books and Gen Con are not eligible.
  • Previous Grand Prize winners are not eligible (previous second and third place winners are eligible)
  • Contest opens for submissions on January 22nd, 2018 at 12:01am EDT. (Entries sent before that date will be deleted unread.)
  • Contest closes for submissions April 30th, 2018 at 12:01am EDT.
What We Want To See

Adventure fantasy with heroes you want to root for. Warriors either modern or medieval, who solve problems with their wits or with their weapons—and we have nothing against dragons, elves, dwarves, castles under siege, urban fantasy, damsels in distress, or damsels who inflict distress.

What We Don't Want To See

Political drama with no action, angst-ridden teens pining over vampire lovers, religious allegory, novel segments, your gaming adventure transcript, anything set in any universe not your own, “it was all a dream” endings, or screenplays.


Entries will be judged by members of the Baen editorial staff.

  • The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at industry-standard rates for professional story submittals. The author will also receive a handsome engraved award and a prize package containing $500 of free Baen Books.
  • SECOND place winner will receive a prize package containing $500 of free Baen Books and-THIRD will receive a prize package containing $300 of free Baen Books.
  • Finalists will be announced no later than July 1st, 2018
  • Winners will be notified no later than July 7th, 2018. (Only the winners will be notified.)
  • The winners will be officially announced at the Writer's Symposium at Gen Con, which will be held August 2-5, 2018, in Indianapolis, IN. (We would prefer the winner attend the conference, but it is not required.)
Submission Checklist
  • All identifying information (Authors name, address, email) has been removed from the manuscript and manuscript file name.
  • Manuscript is an .RTF file and in standard manuscript format with title and page number on every page. Guidelines for manuscript formatting can be found here.
  • Author’s name, address, email, and phone number are included in the body of the email.
  • Please note all times for submission deadlines are Eastern Daylight Time(EDT)!
Previous Winners


"The Blue Widow"
by J.P. Sullivan
"Dust of the Fallen"
by Barbara Doran
"And Not Go Hungry"
by Laurie Tom
"The Lavender Paladin"
by Shawn Snider
"Gunfight at the Thornmount Colossus"
by Anthony Lowe
"Watching the Door"
by Joel and F.I. Goldhaber
"Kiss From a Queen"
by Jeff Provine
by Katherine Monasterio
"Shell Game"
by Joseph L. Kellogg
"Burning Savanna"
by Alexander Monteagudo
and “Adroit” by Dave Williams
"The Golden Knight"
by K. D. Julicher
"Phoenix for the Amateur Chef"
by Scott Huggins
"The Girl with No Name"
by Travis Heermann

( * Note: Publication details will be worked out between winner and Baen Books. In the unlikely event that none of the stories qualify for professional publication, a cash prize, of an amount equal to the amount it would have earned had it been published, may be substituted in lieu of publication.)