Announcing AE Micro 4: Elements

Each year, as our thoughts turn to thawing temperatures and the approach of spring, we realize it’s time once again for AE Micro, our annual contest where we provide a one-word theme and ask you to write some very short stories to appear in a special edition microzine.

This year’s theme is “elements.” You can take any sense of the word as your jumping-off point, whether it’s something off of the periodic table; the four classical elements; or the hot thing at the bottom of an electric kettle.

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.

Entries must be no more than 200 words, including the title. They must be recognizably science fiction and inspired by the theme. (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 All entries must be previously unpublished in print or online.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: Monday, March 11, at 23:59 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4)

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.

As always, if you’re looking for some examples of what can be done with just 200 words, check out the previous editions of AE Micro:

A few final notes:

  • You can submit to AE Micro even if you currently have an open submission to AE. However, if you submit more than one entry to AE Micro 4, only the first entry will be considered.
  • The submission address does not have an auto-reply set up but we do check the Spam folder and are confident that we will receive all entries sent to the correct address.
  • The selected stories will be announced in early April on the website.

Good luck to all who enter!

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