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Ley Lines: A Fiction Contest for Midgard

Ley Lines: A Fiction Contest for Midgard

Lost ScrollsWe’ve had a variety of contests over the years here at Kobold Press, and we want to try another one that’s new to us: fiction. We also want to see what your creativity can create for the world of Midgard. To that end, we introduce a fiction contest.

How does this work? First, become familiar with the Midgard setting—we do want the entries to integrate the setting. Then write and submit your entry. Your submission will be evaluated by a panel of industry professionals and by the fans. As with other contests we’ve done here on the Kobold Press site, fame and prizes play a part in this again. (More on that in a bit!)

So, what do you need to do? First, read all the stuff beyond the jump, then settle into your favorite writing spot and start crafting your entry!

Contest Entry

Here’s how it works: To enter the contest, your submission MUST…

  • Have been created in the previous calendar year.
  • Be sent to the Ley Lines Contest at miranda(at)koboldquarterly(dot)com no later than March 14, 2014, by noon PST.
  • Be submitted as an .rtf, .doc, or .docx attachment.
  • Read Ley Lines Submission [insert story’s name] in the email’s subject line. Your full name and contact information should be in the body of the email (not in your attachment).
  • Be no more than 2,000 words long. Craft well, and craft wisely!


All submissions that meet the criteria will be entered in the contest and be judged by us, the Kobolds, and our guest judges on originality, writing craft, and uniqueness. The 5 best stories will be published here on koboldpress.com and be voted on by the public. Of those 5 stories, the one with the winning votes will become the Ley Lines Contest winner.

So who’s judging? We have a panel of extremely talented and wise judges: Wolfgang Baur, Caroline Dombrowski, Scott Gable, Ed Greenwood, and Janna Silverstein. Take a look at their bios below.

Wolfgang Baur is the founder of Kobold Press, its publisher, and general go-to Kobold. Wolfgang is the author of the Midgard Campaign Setting, the Dark*Matter setting, the Kobold Guides to Game Design, and a smattering of other RPG titles dating back to the days when TSR walked the earth. Wolfgang lives in an impenetrable set of warrens near Kirkland, Washington.

Caroline Dombrowski edits novels, short stories, anthologies, NaNoWriMo attempts, technical publications, grants, memoirs, corporate content, knowledge bases, and anything else that comes across her screen. Since 2010, she’s been involved in editing speculative fiction and her anthology collections have been positively reviewed by Geekdad, among others. She enjoys living amongst the clouds in Seattle.

Scott Gable is the publisher at Broken Eye Books, ushering cutting edge fiction into the world, like The Hole Behind Midnight, Crooked, and the anthology By Faerie Light. He is also a freelance editor, writer, and game designer with a taste for the weird. His most recent gaming credits can be found at Zombie Sky Press, including It Came from the Stars and The Faerie Ring. And it seems like only yesterday that he was editor for Open Design’s award-winning Kobold Quarterly magazine. He calls the beautiful underwater city of Seattle his home.

Ed Greenwood is an amiable, bearded Canadian writer, game designer, and librarian best known as the creator of the Forgotten Realms fantasy world. He sold his first fiction at age six, and has since published more than 200 books that have sold millions of copies worldwide in over two dozen languages. Ed writes fantasy, sf, horror, steampunk, pulp adventure, and comic books, and has won dozens of writing and gaming awards, including multiple Origins Awards and ENnies. He was elected to the Academy of Adventure Gaming Art & Design Hall of Fame in 2003. He has judged the World Fantasy Awards and the Sunburst Awards, hosted radio shows, acted onstage, explored caves, jousted, and been Santa Claus (but not all on the same day).

Ed shares an old Ontario farmhouse with his wife and the head of the household (a small but imperious cat). This ramshackle mansion sags under the weight of more than 80,000 books.

Ed’s most recent novel is The Wizard’s Mask from Paizo, and his upcoming books include The Herald from Wizards of the Coast (the last book of The Sundering Saga), and The Iron Assassin, a steampunk novel from Tor Books.

Ed hangs out on the Internet at theedverse.com (and sells stories there, too).

Janna Silverstein has worked as an acquisitions editor for Bantam Spectra, as editor at Wizards of the Coast on Magic: the Gathering fiction, and then as senior editor at WizKids producing fiction online and in print based on Mage Knight andMechWarrior. For Kobold Press, she has edited the KOBOLD Guide to Game design, vol 3: Tools & Techniques,  and the ENnie Award-winning collections, the Complete KOBOLD Guide to Game Design and the KOBOLD Guide to Worldbuilding. In a freelance capacity, she has edited fiction for Night Shade Books and Pocketbooks. Her own writing has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, 10Flash Quarterly, and in the anthologies Swordplay and The Trouble With Heroes, among others. Though she’ll always be a New Yorker, she lives in Seattle with two cats, many books, and a respectable–if somewhat smaller–collection of games.

Prizes for the Ley Lines Contest Winner

The winning artist will receive a writing commission from Kobold Press, plus may be interviewed for the Kobold Press website (more on that later). All five finalists will receive PDF copies of the Zobeck City Map, Zobeck Gazetteer, the Kobold Guide to Magic, and double-ENnie winner, the Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding. [Updated 2/19/14 to swap in Kobold Guide to Magic.]

Additional Rules

1. The contest is open to all.
2. One entry per person. The entry must be your own work, which is not being considered for publication by any other publisher, and is original and does not infringe upon any copyrighted material. [Updated 2/19/14 to remove confusing language.]
3. The author grants Open Design LLC the right to publish the submitted piece on the Kobold website as part of this contest. Winner grants Open Design LLC the right to publish the winning entry or excerpted portions of the winning entry in the Kobold Press newsletter and in similar promotional and publicity uses.
4. By entering this contest, you authorize the use of your name and likeness without additional compensation for promotion and advertising purposes in all media.
5. This contest is subject to federal, state, and local laws where applicable.
6. Open Design reserves the right to withdraw or terminate this contest at any time without prior notice.
7. All decisions of Open Design LLC and the judges are final.

We cannot wait to see what you all come up with for this particular contest. Please spread the word and encourage anyone you know who is an aspiring author to join in on the fun!

9 thoughts on “Ley Lines: A Fiction Contest for Midgard”

  1. Amanda Hamon Kunz

    Interesting! Are there any content-related requirements other than the fact that submissions must integrate Midgard? Does that mean submissions must be set somewhere in Midgard?

  2. Yes, stories must be set somewhere in Midgard. A recognizable placename and description, a familiar character, or even simply using a race unique to the setting would all qualify a story.

    The written in the last year means written in the last year. Please don’t take a story from the depths of your hard drive and submit that. The “current work” element is more often found in art contests than story contests, but we thought it would apply here.

  3. I suspect the “in the PREVIOUS calendar year” part might be what is confusing. Wouldn’t “previous calendar year” mean 2013? It sounds like it should maybe say something like “Must have been written within the last year”.

  4. Ah, so you don’t mean “must have been written in 2013” (as I read it), but “must have been written within the last twelve months,” right? So newly drafted stories are also eligible?

  5. Absolutely, newly drafted stories are eligible, as are stories drafted up to 12 months prior. Anything since March 2013.

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