Baltimore Science Fiction Society sponsors and administers the following contests and awards:
Compton Crook Award
honors the best first novel of the year written by an individual author (collaborations are not eligible) in the Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror genre. Compton Crook, who used the nom de plume Stephen Tall, died in 1981. He was a long time Baltimore resident, Towson University professor, and, of course, a science fiction author. Since its inception, this award conferred by the Baltimore Science Fiction Society has been presented at Balticon. Balticon hosts the author of the winning novel as a Compton Crook Guest at Balticon for two years — the first year to receive the award (and the nice check that accompanies it), and the second year to give that year’s award to the incoming winning author. For more information, visit the Compton Crook Award website.
Baltimore Science Fiction Society Amateur Writing Contest
promotes the creation of quality genre literature in the state of Maryland. Winners are announced at Capclave in the fall and invited to be introduced and read from their work at Balticon the following spring and the winning stories are included in the BSFan. We encourage entry by any amateur writer 18 or over, who is currently a Maryland residents or a student at a MD two or four year college. Entrants cannot be a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America nor can they have been published in a professional science fiction/fantasy magazine.For complete information, see the Amateur Writing Contest web page.
Balticon Poetry Contest
awards three prizes for poems up to 50 lines in length which address the themes of science fiction/fantasy/horror/science. For more information, see the BSFS Poetry web page.
BSFS Robert A. Heinlein Award
BSFS has been involved with the Robert A. Heinlein Award since its inception in 2003. The award is conferred “…for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings to inspire the human exploration of space”. The Award is presented at Balticon. For more information, visit the BSFS Heinlein Award web page.
Jack L. Chalker Young Writers’ Contest
honors young writers between the ages of 14 and 18. Contest submissions must be in the field of science fiction or fantasy. Contestants must reside in or attend school in Maryland, and be no older than 18 years of age as of the date of Balticon. Submissions must be no more than 2500 words in length. The first, second and third place winners are invited to and announced at Balticon. Please see the BSFS Young Writer’s contest rules web page for the full rules or contact BSFS for a hard copy.