Deadline: Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 11:59pm (PST). Winners will be announced in early June on ROBSERVATIONS.

The Burnettwork is pleased to announce its first short-story writing contest for Imagination Connoisseurs from around the world. Stories submitted for consideration will be reviewed by a team of judges and the top twelve selections wll be featured in a book published by The Burnettwork later in the year. The grand prize-winning entry will be developed into a short film to be produced, directed and edited by Robert Meyer Burnett (FREE ENTERPRISE) and featured on The Burnettwork as part of its 2021 film festival program.


The theme for this year’s short-story competition is “The Imagination Connoisseur” – a term we use for fans of genre entertainment, but that does not mean authors have to use that phrase the same way (if at all). There is no specific genre of fiction required for this competition, but a general adhearance to the standards of conduct promoted by The Burnettwork is expected.


It’s easy to enter the competition. Just complete the entry form for each submission. You will be asked to pay with each entry submission as well. There are no group discounts for entries.

Please make sure your contact information on your submission form is complete and correct. All contact with you will be done via email. All credit information used in the publication will be from the information supplied on the submission form. Due to the nature of production deadlines, the addtion of or corrections to any credit information not included on the submission form cannot be guaranteed.

Please also make sure the email address you provide on the submission form is valid throughout the competition span (from February 17 – June 15, 2021). Competition-related updates and winner notifications will be sent by email.

While MS Word documents are preferred for handling purposes, entries submitted as text files (.txt) or PDF files (.pdf) will also be accepted. Those documents will be converted to MS Word documents for handling. Submissions in other formats may not be accepted as valid entries and no refund of the entry fee will be provided.


Once an entry is received, it will be converted to a MS Word document and that document will be scanned to determine the number of words. The word count limit for this competition is 10,000. Entries will be allowed a 1% error rate on their word count (bringing the final, acceptable word count up to 10,100). Entries that exceed this word count will be disqualified.

Once the word count is established, the submission will be reviewed by a “qualifying judge” to ensure there are no formatting errors in the document that might make it difficult to read (e.g. page breaks, header/footer errors, margins that run off the page, etc.). If corrections are required, they will be made and a “corrected submission” will be returned to the author for review and approval before the submission is allowed to proceed.

Once the entry is deemed to be “qualified” it will be logged and scheduled for review by up to three judges. The author will be notified by email when this occurs.

Judges will be given approximately 3 weeks to review the material submitted to them and return an evaluation. The last evaluation forms are due back from the judges no later than May 15, 2021.

Once all of the evaluation forms have been received from the judges, the scores will be tallied and the top thirteen stories will be identified as the “official selections” for the printed publication. The Burnettwork reserves the right to include up to an additional five short stories for publication in addition to these “official selections” – but these five additional pieces will not be considered for the selection of the “grand prize.”

Once the official selections have been made, The Burnettwork will review them and determine which of the thirteen stories can be produced as a short film given the organization’s resources. The final selection of the “grand prize winner” will be made no later than June 1 and the announcement of all of the selections for Volume 1 of “The Imagination Connoisseur” will be made in early June on an episode of ROBSERVATIONS.

Everyone who submitted a short story will be notified of the results no later than June 5, 2021



  • The Burnettwork reserves the right to reject work deemed unsuitable for publication or violates our community standards.
  • The Burnettwork assumes all entries are original and are the works and property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein.
  • The Burnettwork is not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant and will not become involved in copyright disputes.
  • Entry fees are non-refundable.
  • If a submission is selected for publication or production as a short-form film, the author/entrant agrees that it exclusively assigns The Burnettwork all rights to reproduce, produce and distribute the submission and all derivitave forms of it as presented in “The Imagination Connoisseur, Volume 1” and all related work.