Announcing AE Micro #2: Seconds

Before AE, there was AE Micro: “a very small book of very small stories about very small things.” At its heart was a simple premise: We proposed a single word and solicited stories on that theme no longer than 200 words. We received many excellent entries and published the best of them in a special edition microzine.

The form — short enough to fit on a postcard, long enough to plant an enduring idea in your brain — may be less trendy than the six-word story, but it has a pedigree of its own reaching back to Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. And because we love stories that pack a large punch in a small package, we’re making AE Micro an annual event.

This year’s theme is “seconds.” Whether that’s an ordinal, a unit of time or the guy who’s got your back in a duel is up to you.

We will select five entries for publication in the microzine: three Canadian stories and two international. We will pay our standard rate of $.06 CAD per word for each of the five selected stories, with a minimum of $10 for any one story. The author of each selected story will also receive five print copies of AE Micro.

Entries must be no more than 200 words, including the title. They must be recognizably science fiction and inspired by the word “second.” (Using the word itself in the story is not required.) One entry per person. All entries must be previously unpublished in print or online.

Submit entries to: The subject line should contain your byline and nationality (“CDN” if you are a Canadian citizen or resident, “INT” if otherwise). The body of the email should contain the title and text of your story and nothing else. Entries that do not conform to the above guidelines will be disqualified.

Deadline: This competition is now closed.

By entering, you agree to the following terms should your story be chosen for publication: You agree to license your story under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives license. You grant first print and digital serial rights to the story to AE, these rights to expire twelve months after submission of the entry if unused. You also grant AE license to edit your story as necessary for publication, as well as to create and share an audio recording of your story online. AE claims no rights on stories not selected for publication.

Okay, that’s all we have to say; now it’s your turn. You have three weeks and two hundred words to give us one awesome story. Go!

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