Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award (Prize: .08/word+ Award + Publication)

The Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award is currently open for submissions of short science fiction stories that depict the near future of space exploration.

Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award is a team-up of The National Space Society and Baen Books to applaud science fiction’s role in advancing real science.

They believe that since the early days of science fiction, it has played a unique role in human civilization. It removes the limits of what “is” and shows us a boundless vista of what “might be.” Its fearless heroes, spectacular technologies and wondrous futures have inspired many people to make science, technology and space flight a real part of their lives and in doing so, have often transformed these fictions into reality.


Eligibility Guidelines for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

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

What They Want to See:

  • Moon bases,
  • Mars colonies,
  • Orbital habitats,
  • Space elevators,
  • Asteroid mining,
  • Artificial intelligence,
  • Nano-technology,
  • Realistic spacecraft,
  • Heroics,
  • Sacrifice,
  • Adventure.

What They 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.


Submissions Guidelines for the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award

  1. 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.
  2. No entry fee. However, only one story is permitted for submission. Therefore ensure it is your best by editing your work thoroughly.
  3. No reprints.
  4. The manuscript should be a RTF attachment, in standard manuscript format and should especially be titled and numbered on every page, but the author’s name MUST BE DELETED to facilitate fair judging.
  5. E-mail submissions only. Send entries as .RTF attachments to:
    [email protected]
  6. Ensure to 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
  7. 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 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 2023 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 2023 International Space Development Conference and a year’s membership in the National Space Society.

All winners will be announced on  March 22, 2023. The winners will be honored at the 2023 International Space Development Conference in Frisco, TX, USA, May 25-28, 2023.



The Deadline for submission is 12:01am, U.S. Pacific Time, February 1, 2023.

Read more details on their website. Good luck!

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