Announcing the Steampunk Romance Contest!

For writers who are looking to break out of their typical genres and work with new conventions and material, Figment recommends exploring steampunk. For the uninitiated, steampunk is: “a sci-fi subculture that offers a fresh, romanticized view on technology by making it retro” (for a comprehensive explanation of the movement, check out MTV’s article here). Think a mixture of 19th century Victorian stylings melded with gears and gadgetry. Notable novels that are associated with the steampunk movement include A Clockwork Orange, the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, and the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld.

For our Steampunk Romance contest, inspired byย Corsets and Clockwork, a collection of 13 Steampunk romances edited by Trisha Telep (find an excerpt on Figment here), Figmenters are challenged to write a steampunk romance of their very own. What would a romance look like if it were set in an mechanized, sci-fi world? Your story or poem should be less than 1,000 words.

How to enter:

-Submit your entry by 12AM EST on Tuesday, May 3rd to, copy and pasted in the body of the email.
-Follow Steampunk Romance on Figment.

Finalists will be voted on the following week on the blog, and the winner will receive a copy of Corsets and Clockwork as well as an awesome steampunk device of his or her choosing: either a pair of goggles, a monocle, or a compass.

Strap on that thinking cap (or top hat, rather), Figmenters! Best of luck!

1. One entry per person, please.
2. The promotion of your contest entry is not allowed on Figment. This includes self-promotion and the promotion of other usersโ€™ contest entries in the Figment forums, the comments and reviews of stories, and the Figment Facebook page. Independent promotion on sites unrelated to Figment, like personal Facebook or Twitter accounts, is fine.
3. Works must be submitted to the above email address between the announcement of the contest and the closure of the contest. Entries created before the start date or after the end date will not be included in the pages of contest entries and will be ineligible to win. This means a new story must be created for the contest; adapting an old story published before the start of the contest will make the entry ineligible to win.
4. The rules of the contest are both strict and open to interpretation by a moderator.
5. The creation of multiple accounts to heart or otherwise vote for your contest entry on Figment is prohibited, and may result in the disqualification of that entry, the deletion of your Figment account, and/or the blocking of your IP address permanently from the site, at the moderatorโ€™s discretion.

65 thoughts on “Announcing the Steampunk Romance Contest!

  1. Interesting… My setting is already kind of a magical variant of a cyberpunk society, but cyberpunk might be doable…

  2. The Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld is NOT Steampunk. His Leviathan series IS Steampunk. Please correct this. Thank you.

    • Hey Katarina-
      No other prompts- since this contest is only a week long, it’s just the one. And yes, your entry needs to include both steam-punk elements and romance to fulfill the prompt. Good luck!

    • Hey Kaitlin-
      Sure! It can be a continuation, but it will be judged as a separate and independent piece of writing, so it should make sense by itself.

  3. Sorry-I have another question!(I am curious!)
    Is there a specific reason that we are submitting our entries differently?

    Plus, I would like to say that I’m REALLY EXCITED!!!:D

    • Hi Katarina

      There’s no reason. We just like to offer different ways for different contests. Call it a fig-xperiment.

  4. Just wondering, not to sound inappropriate or anything, but what is the reader’s rating on this thing. Childrens, YA, T, A? Needs to know my boundries as I have tendancy to make scenes turn steamy. -_- (sweatdrops)

    • Hi Terry

      Yes, but make sure it gets to us before the deadline. Also, just write a couple of words explaining that the most recent submission you sent in is the correct one.

  5. Hi, I sent my contest submission in yesterday and haven’t heard any conformation that it’s been received. Is this a problem?

  6. Hey, I don’t quite understand.. Are we writing something with romance and punkiness? I can do that. I just need to know so I can determine if I want to do it or not. And another question, do we get anything for winning a contest?

    • Steampunk is advanced steam-powered technology in an anachronistic setting- usually around WWI or WWII or Victorian England. And yeah! Prizes are listed above: a copy of Corsets and Clockwork and a choice of a piece of steampunk gear.

    • We’re still getting around to confirmations, but I just checked and we got your entry! Consider it confirmed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hey there. I started writing my story on here, but then I took it off. Is that okay? It was on there for less than 24 hours.

  8. Just read A. Lee-Reid’s comment. So I can’t have it as one of my stories during the contest, I just posted like 2 minutes ago…?

  9. For this contest, we are not allowed to promote our stories. Does that include simply publishing them ourselves or is that considered okay?

    • Hi Rachel

      You can definitely publish it yourself. When we say contest promotion, we are referring to asking people to read and vote for your entry either in the forums, or in comments/reviews/messages. You can’t bring any attention to or refer to your entry in any way, anywhere on Figment. You can definitely promote it on your personal social media accounts, though (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  10. I don’t exactly get what steam punk is. Can someone explain it to me? And if another Figgy posted a steampunk story that I could read, that would be great too.

  11. I don’t exactly get steampunk. Can someone explain it to me? And if you provide a link to an example, that would be better!

    • Hi Kiira

      Steampunk is a genre that mainly deals with stories that include gadgets/technology but are set in Victorian/Edwardian stylings. You can go here for an explanation of it:

      To read examples of it, you can read other entries in the contest (just scroll down to the bottom of the Steampunk Romance Contest post to see the list) or you can head over to “Figment Features” to read an excerpt from “Corsets and Clockwork,” written by Adrienne Kress.

      Feel free to email me at if you have any other questions.

  12. Can I send it in like, right before the deadline? I have some final editing to do.. (Just at like 11:30, if that’s fine)

    • Hi A.

      I sent out confirmation emails late last night, so please make sure you also check your spam folder. The semi-finalists will be announced soon, so check the “Contests” page either tonight(ish) or tomorrow(ish). We will definitely announce when the semi-finalists are posted.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *