Contests & Awards

Baen Fantasy Adventure Award

Baen Books is excited to announce the seventh 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.

Contest Rules

Write and submit 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No reprints (i.e. the story must be unpublished).

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 judging. Click here for our standard manuscript format guidelines.

Employees of Baen Books and Staff of NASFIC 2020 are not eligible.

Previous Grand Prize winners are not eligible (previous second and third place winners are eligible).

Contest opens for submissions on January 31st, 2020 at 12:01am EDT. (Entries sent before that date will be deleted unread.)

Contest closes for submissions April 30th, 2020 at 11:59pm 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 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.

THIRD place winner will receive a prize package containing $300 of free Baen Books.

Finalists will be announced no later than July 1st, 2020

Winners will be notified no later than July 17th, 2020. (Only the winners will be notified.)

The winners will be officially announced at NASFIC 2020, which is also hosting the 1632 Minicon. It will be held August 20-23, 2020, in Columbus, Ohio. (We would prefer the winners attend the convention, but it is not required.)

Submission Checklist

All identifying information (author's 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

2019 Winners


"Treason Properly"
by J. J. Cragun


"In the House of Rain and Gale"
by Joelle Douthit


"In the City of Dreadful Joy"
by Misha Burnett

2018 Winners


"Dragon’s Hand"
by David VonAllmen


"Deny the World with a Thought"
by Benjamin Scott Farthing


"The Lady of Pain"
by Steve DuBois

2017 Winners


"The Blue Widow"
by J.P. Sullivan


"Dust of the Fallen"
by Barbara Doran


"And Not Go Hungry"
by Laurie Tom

2016 Winners


"The Lavender Paladin"
by Shawn Snider


"Gunfight at the Thornmount Colossus"
by Anthony Lowe


"Watching the Door"
by Joel and F. I. Goldhaber

2015 Winners


"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

2014 Winners


"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.)