Reimbursing dreams since 2022

The CFA seeks to publicise original, mould-breaking works of fantasy from self-published and unpublished authors.  2022 is our inaugural year!

Our site will showcase each year's top 3 novelists; the winner receiving a cash prize of £2500, with £1200 for second and £600 for third place. Our website will also feature all 12 shortlisted candidates and their work, and each of these 12 will receive constructive feedback from our judges.  Our guest judge this year is published author Christine Amsden, in addition to 11 other judges who all work freelance for the CFA.

If you are a self-published or unpublished author who would like to compete for our award, please email the first 10,000 words of your manuscript, along with a single page synopsis, to the address below. All novels entered for the prize must be at least 50,000 words; we shall request full manuscripts from the shortlisted 12. Entry is a mere £6 to help cover prize costs, plus we will never spam you with adverts for writing courses, proof readers, copy editors, 1-on-1 tutorials, marketing videos, secret recipes for perfect bacon sandwiches or luxury timeshares on the moon. Chimera is about sponsoring indie talent - we won't reap dubious profits from the fields of your dreams.

Closing date for 2022 entries: 1st December.  
GENERAL CONTEST TIP: Submit early to avoid being part of an impossible last minute clutter. Even the best judges are only human...

Shortlist announced: 21st December.

Winners announced: 31st December.

May the Fates guide your fingers to good fortune!
  • Submissions

Please use the above address to send us your contest submissions and the form to the right for queries. Only once your submission has been received and verified will we request payment.

Christine Amsden

Guest Judge

Christine Amsden is the author of nine award-winning fantasy and science fiction novels, including the Cassie Scot Series. Her most recent publication, "Please Stop Murdering Grandma," is available at Daily Science Fiction. In addition to writing, she is a freelance editor and political activist. In her free time, she enjoys role playing, board games, and a good cup of tea. She lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and two kids.

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Can I submit more than one entry?

Yes you can, so long as you pay for each entry separately.

What is the aim of Chimera Fantasy Awards?

Our aim is to sponsor new talent, in a world where only a fraction of a single percent of writers ever achieve their dreams.  Specifically, we are a non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting all breeds of fantasy novelist.

Any terms and conditions I should be aware of?

1) Submissions are overseen by our team of judges and the judges' decisions are final.

2) Refunds cannot be given, nor can entries be retracted, so make sure your entry is polished and carefully checked before submitting.

3) If you are shortlisted but do not wish your name or work to appear on our website, for whatever reason, please contact us and we will act according to your wishes.

4) All submission fees are used to furnish the prize pot. Any profits made will help line the pot for 2023.

5) Submitting an entry to our contest means you agree to abide by our terms and conditions.

To which countries is the contest open?

All.  Whether you hail from England or Canada, the USA or Australia, Iran or Azerbaijan, Lilliput or Atlantis, your submissions are welcome.


What genres of fantasy will you accept?

All, including MG, YA and NA fantasy novels.  Your fantasy could be set in 2022 New York, or an alternate reality, or a goblin-infested pseudo-medieval asteroid in a galaxy far, far away.  It could lean into sci-fi, comedy or romance.  Whatever the tale, your fantasy is our reality.

Does it matter when my self-published novel was published?

No.

All that matters is that you have not had any book published, fiction or non-fiction, by a traditional publisher (vanity publishers do not count).

What language should my novel be written in?

English.  Sadly, this is the only language that all our judges can read, though some are proudly fluent in American, Canadian and even Australian.

What are your judging criteria?

Since contest entries will likely cover a vast range within the fantasy spectrum, from Middle Grade contemporary fantasy to Arthurian romance to Westeros Mark 2,  judging criteria will be applied more intuitively than stringently.  However, as a rough guide:

1) How original is your concept? Does it reinvent the genre, put an intriguing twist on it, or solely rely on tried-and-tested tropes?

2) How compelling is your story, bearing in mind structure and pacing? Are we turning the pages of your novel like a bank teller or falling asleep in our chairs?

3) How well-developed and distinctive are your characters? How realistic and engaging is your dialogue? Is there humour in your novel's universe? If not, why?

4) How beautiful and entrancing is your prose? Are we reading Ursula Le Guin or the phone book?

5) For higher fantasy novels, how immersive, detailed and realistic is your world building?  Will you be the next Tolkien?

Will entries be judged blind?

Yes.

When your entries are passed to the judges, your personal details are not. This eliminates the possibility of discrimination based on factors such as sex and location, or if the judge happens to hate your uncle Paul over a disagreement they once had on whether Han or Greedo shot first (It was HAN).

Do I retain the rights to my work if I take part?

Yes.  Taking part in our contest will not affect any of your rights regarding your work.  You retain 100% control and ownership, and we will never attempt to sell or advertise your work without your express permission.
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