Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

 Full details 

Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration.

No entry fee. But please only submit one story...your best one!

No reprints.

Entries can be from any country.

All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, poetry, song lyrics, or stories that utilize characters or settings from another person’s works 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.

Employees of Baen Books, NSS and previous Grand Prize Winners are not eligible. Previous Second and Third place winners are eligible.

Contest opens for submissions on October 1, 2021 at 12:01am EDT. (Entries sent before that date will be deleted unread.)

Deadline - 12:01am, U.S. Pacific Time, February 1, 2022.

The ten finalists will be announced no later than March 8, 2022.

What we want to see

Moon bases, Mars colonies, orbital habitats, space elevators, asteroid mining, artificial intelligence, nano-technology, realistic spacecraft, heroics, sacrifice, adventure.

What We Don’t Want to See

Stories that show technology or space travel as evil or bad, galactic empires, paranormal elements, UFO abductions, zombie stories, thinly veiled copies of previous winners, non-standalone novel excerpts, screenplays.


Judging will be by Baen Books editors and authors, including Toni Weisskopf and William Ledbetter.


The GRAND PRIZE winner will be published as the featured story on the Baen Books main website and paid at the normal paying rates for professional story submittals, currently .08/word. The author will also receive an engraved award, free entry into the 2022 International Space Development Conference and a year's membership in the National Space Society.

SECOND and THIRD place winners will receive free entry into the 2022 International Space Development Conference and a year's membership in the National Space Society.

The winners will be announced and notified no later than March 22, 2022. The winners will be honored at the 2022 International Space Development Conference in Arlington, VA, May 27-29, 2022 . (We would prefer the winner attend the conference, but it is not required.)



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