Data Plague Story Contest

The “Data Plague” Story Contest

Sponsored by DreamForge Magazine and Dark Lords, Villains & Monsters.

Submissions accepted from 8/15/19 through 9/30/19. Winners announced 10/10/19.

The Data PlagueHere’s the Skinny:

DreamForge and the Dark Lord are having a dispute. It’s up to you to prove which side is right, Hopepunk or Grimdark, Utopia or Dystopia, Good or Evil.

Is there too much data in the world, too many voices online, too many points of view splitting us all into a million hateful tribes? Or is overwhelming content simply a treasure we have yet to control, like early humans burning down a few forests on their way to mastering fire?

  • Pick a Side & Write a Short Story.
  • Best Story Wins for its Side (Utopian vs. Dystopian).
  • Runner Up Story from the Opposing View Becomes the Rebuttal.

Requirements & Rewards:

  • Maximum Story Length is 3,300 Words.
  • Winner Receives $200 and Publication Online at DreamForge Magazine.
  • Runner Up Receives $50 Amazon Gift Card and Publication Online at DreamForge Magazine.
  • Follow our Formatting and Submission Guidelines Below.

For Inspiration, we refer you to “The Midas Plague,” by Frederick Pohl, first published in the April 1954 issue of Galaxy. Here is a detailed review on Variety SF.  And here is the story itself – The Midas Plague.

Be funny; be insightful, satirical or serious. Make us laugh or make us cry and you may win out for your side!

Dark Lord DiarySponsored By

Original concept and an equal share of the prizes come from Dark Lords, Villains & Monsters, a satirical dystopian project by author Jeff Mach, whose latest work, There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN: A Dark Lord’s Diary, is available on Amazon.

DreamForge is a magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy that looks at the human adventure through a hopeful lens.

Submission Formatting

Your story must be submitted in Word or RTF format.

Top of the First Page

  • Title of Story (centered)
  • Your By Line (centered)
  • No Address or other Personal Info please.


  • Font: Arial, Size 12
  • Double spaced
  • Indented paragraphs
  • Single spacing between sentences.
  • No extra line break between paragraphs
  • Section breaks, as needed, should be three ### symbols, centered on the page.
  • In the document Header, include Last Name/Title/Page #

File Naming:

When you SAVE your file, name it in the following way: DataPlague-LastName-Story-Title

During the submission process, you will have the opportunity to write a cover letter, enter the word count, and select a category.  Important – Select Data Plague Contest as your Category – nothing else!

Contracts and Payment

Our contract is based on the model provided by the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA). Copyright and story ownership remain with the author. Contract terms are negotiable within reason.

For the purposes of this contest, we are acquiring first world electronic rights for online publication.

Payment to be made shortly after winners are announced.

Submit Your StorySubmission Procedures

It’s time to move on to our Submissions Procedure Page! (This is our standard submissions page for all story uploads to DreamForge Magazine. Remember to choose Data Plague Contest as your Category!

Please click the image to the right or the following link: DreamForge Submissions Procedures.

Star Field Rules of Fiction

By Outer Space

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