Summer Story Contest 2014: Fan fiction!

VITA.MN | Updated 7/24/2014

What are you a fan of? Write your own fan-fiction story about it. Get published in Vita.mn. Win $1,000.

Karen Gillian and Matt Smith in "Doctor Who."
BBC

Vita.mn's sixth annual Summer Story Contest is back with yet another fun and challenging theme: fan fiction! Write up your best piece of short fan fiction and you could win $1,000 or a $250 literary prize pack, get invited to read your story at our Summer Story Contest event, and/or have your story printed in Vita.mn.

For the uninitiated, fan fiction is what happens when a writer takes characters, settings or situations from an existing novel, movie, TV show, etc., and creates their own story based on it. A writer might choose to tie up loose ends in an existing work, or create a romantic storyline for two characters. The story exists in the universe of the inspiration work, but it is non-canonical. Fan fiction is often the realm of science fiction and fantasy fans, but it can draw on anything. "Star Trek," "Harry Potter" and "Twilight" are the most frequent sources for fan fiction, but anything goes: "Back to the Future," "The Cosby Show," "Catcher in the Rye" -- you name it.

Generally a fringe genre, fan fiction has gained popularity on the Internet and even in some mainstream venues. With Vita.mn declaring this the "All-Star Summer," it's time for the Summer Story Contest to pay tribute to fanfic.

Here's what to do: Write a 300- to 600-word fan fiction story, inspired by an existing work. Stories of more than 600 words will not be accepted. Email your story to [email protected] by July 9. Please cite your story's inspiration at the top of the submission. Finalists will be invited to read their story at our Summer Story Contest event on Aug. 6, where the audience favorite will win a $250 literary prize pack. Finalists will have their stories printed in the Aug. 7 issue of Vita.mn, and the first-place story writer will win $1,000.

Tips: 1) Inventive interpretation of the fanfic format and a creative choice of inspiration are welcome. 2) Bear in mind that your story may be read for a live audience or published in Vita.mn, so be careful with very obscure sources.

Read the complete contest rules here. Start writing your fan fiction, and to quote the Granok demon Sahjhan on "Angel" season 3, episode 16: "Have a good summer!