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Rated: 13+ · Message Forum · Sci-fi · #1778153
The SteamPunk Authors Guild's short story contest.

Greetings and felicitations, all writers and readers of the glorious but as yet little-known science fiction sub-genre, SteamPunk. Herein lies a grand adventure into the mysterious world of boilers and clockworks, vacuum tubes and mechanical automata, set in a post-Victorian milieu that bears only the vaguest resemblance to the "real" world of internal combustion engines and solid-state electronics.

We bid you welcome to the SteamPunk Sanctum. From the outside, our rambling mansion looks quaint, even charming, with its gingerbread latticework and witch's hat cupolas, but do not judge this book by its cover. Step onto the wrap around porch, wield the brass doorknocker and peer through the beveled glass panes in the massive oak front door. Jenkins, our trusted manservant, will show you in, then leave you to explore the many rooms, with their overstuffed furniture, pressed-tin ceilings and bow windows. Climb the winding staircase and wander through the living spaces of scientists, mercenaries, altruistic philanthropists and black-hearted villains. A word of caution: do not disturb the madman locked in the eastern cupola. His wild ramblings of mystical utopias and limitless treasure have sent other men seeking, only to find their doom.

Climb the narrow stairs to the attic; hidden there are secrets deemed too dangerous for humankind to know. Or perhaps you disagree? Your judgment, dear friend, suffices for us.

Then down, down to the dark basement, to the Boiler Room, where sooty-faced stokers shovel coal into fireboxes, pipes hiss with steam pressure and all manner of machines clank, tick, and whir. On laboratory benches, strange liquids bubble in beakers and travel through a maze of tubes. What is all this ephemera, and what does it do? Who created these mechanical marvels?

They are the stuff of SteamPunk, and in each and every room of this sprawling mansion are stories, waiting to be written... by you, dear friend.


1. This is a short story contest, for stories of 3,000 words or fewer. The word count must be listed at the bottom of the work.
2. All entries must be new static items (written in the month of the prompt), and posted in the forum below in {bitem:#######} format. (The item's number replaces the # signs.)
3. Content rating of entries must be 18+ or lower. The title, however, and the subject line of your post must be "E-rated".
4. PLEASE EDIT YOUR WORK BEFORE POSTING. We are aspiring professionals; the way we present our work to reviewers, agents, and publishers is important. No editing is allowed between posting and announcement of the winners.
5. Entries must follow the prompt for each round, listed below, and remain true to the Steampunk genre.
6. Entries are due by 11:59pm, WdC time, on the last day of the month.
7. Judging will be completed and prizes awarded not later than by the 7th day of the following month.


*Tools*1st Prize
50k Awardicon and 20k GPs
Steampunk Merit Badge

*Tools*2nd Prize
25k Awardicon and 15k GPs

*Tools*3rd Prize
10k Awardicon 5k GPs

If there are fewer than four entries, only first prize will be awarded.
If two or fewer, the entrants will receive a merit badge, but no other prize will be awarded.


Should you need inspiration, there are some wonderful links available on our group page, "The Steampunk Authors' Guild


Beck: building steam!
tYpO starring as T.Boilerman


1. PLOT. Is it interesting? Does it move along, with the necessary information delivered as the action moves forward? Does it make sense within the confines of its own logic?

2. DESCRIPTION. Are the characters and settings brought to life? Are they consistently portrayed? Is the descriptive language woven successfully into the moving plot progression?

3. VOICE. One of the defining features of the SteamPunk genre is the narrative voice. The somewhat formal feel of Victorian English lends SteamPunk a 19th century flavor that smacks of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This flavor, or a feel that might have evolved directly from it, will be integral to the best SteamPunk stories.

4. GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION and SPELLING. As mentioned above, presentation is important, and it will be taken into account, though it will, within reason, be less heavily weighted than the previous criteria.

Previous winners may be found here:
 Pressure Valve Winners Archive  (13+)
A listing of past winners of The Pressure Valve steampunk story contest.
#1804497 by CeruleanSon


*Tophat* Donations of 30,000 GPs or more will be rewarded with an appropriate Merit Badge.

*Tophat* Donations of 50,000 GPs or more will be rewarded with a Steampunk Merit Badge.

*Tophat* Donations of 75,000 GPs or more will be rewarded with a Steampunk Merit Badge with a physical merit badge.


EarlyHours-A Vigilante Ranger
Jeff - in Hawaii until 7/25
LJPC - the tortoise
for the glorious ribbon that festoons our banner!


*POCKETWATCH* http://www.ministryofpeculiaroccurrences.com/what-is-steampunk/
*POCKETWATCH* http://www.gdfalksen.com/Steampunk
*POCKETWATCH* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steampunk


These authors, boilermen if you will, run these other competitions as well:
The Official Monthly Short Story Contest of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Society
#1767321 by tYpO starring as T.Boilerman

The Tinkery - closed for now  (13+)
Describe the prompt's Steampunk device and what part it plays in your story.
#1782192 by CeruleanSon

StAG Firebox-CLOSED  (13+)
Steampunk fiction competition
#1781446 by tYpO starring as T.Boilerman

 Invalid Item 
This item number is not valid.
#1783503 by Not Available.
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