in collaboration with

Official Rules

No Purchase Necessary to Enter or Win.

A purchase will not increase your chances of winning.

Void where prohibited. U.S. Law Governs.

Open only to legal residents of the United States, DC, and Puerto Rico, who are at least 17 years of age at time of Entry.

SPONSORS: The LeVar Burton Reads Writing Contest (“Contest”) is sponsored by Stitcher, Inc., and FIYAH Literary Magazine.

CONTEST SUBMISSION PERIOD: Entries for the Contest will be accepted between August 1, 2021 at 12:01 AM Eastern Time (“ET”) and August 31, 2021 at 11:59 PM ET (the “Contest Submission Period”). ALL ENTRIES MUST BE SUBMITTED DURING THE CONTEST SUBMISSION PERIOD.

ELIGIBILITY: The Contest is open to legal residents of the U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who are over the age of seventeen (17) on or before the start of the Contest and who satisfy all other eligibility criteria set forth herein (“Entrants”). Employees, shareholders, officers, directors, agents, and representatives of Sponsors and LeVar Burton Reads, the legal, promotion and advertising agencies of any aforementioned entities, and their immediate family members and those living in their household, and each person or entity connected with the production or administration of the Contest, and each parent company, affiliate, subsidiary, agent and representative of any aforementioned entity are not eligible. The Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws.

HOW TO ENTER: (1) Write a speculative fiction story between 2,800 and 5,200 words (as counted by your word processing software) (“Submission”) and (2) log on to and complete the entry form that will request your full name, phone number, and email address, to upload your Submission. Your Submission must be original and can be as creative as you like within the Submission Guidelines set forth below. No hand deliveries or mailed submissions will be accepted. All entries received by the end of the Contest Submission Period that are complete and otherwise qualified will be eligible to win (“Entry”). Sponsors will not acknowledge receipt of Submissions.

You may only submit one Submission.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Your Submission must be an original work of authorship created by you, the person who submits the entry, between 2,800 and 5,200 words (as counted by your word processing software). Your Submission must be in English (if the original story is not in English, an English translation may be submitted). Your Submission must fit within the broad category of speculative fiction, defined as fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements, including but not limited to science fiction, fantasy, horror, and alternate history. Submissions must not contain imagery or themes of sexual assault, graphic violence, gore or body horror. Your Submission must be respectful in its language and execution regarding race, culture, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and/or mental illness. If, in the sole discretion of Sponsors, your Submission constitutes copyright infringement, otherwise violates the rights of any third party, and/or violates the requirements set forth herein, the Submission will be disqualified. Entries that are incomplete or corrupted are void and will not be accepted. 

Entrants may not copy or otherwise copy or plagiarize their Submission, in whole or part, from any source, nor may the Submission include third-party copyrighted material. Entrant must hold all rights to the entire Submission. Sponsors are not responsible for legal protection or clearance of Submissions in any form. In the event the Submission contains references to specific living people, Entrant must secure – and Winners (defined below) will be required to submit – a written release from any living person mentioned in the Submission to use their names, stories and likeness under the terms and conditions of these Official Rules. Entrant agrees to defend, indemnify and hold Sponsors harmless from and against any and all claims from any third party for any use by Sponsors of Entrant’s Submission.

JUDGING: Judging will be completed in two (2) rounds. Entries may be prescreened to ensure the Entries have satisfied and not violated the Submission Guidelines and meet with Sponsors’ general standards and practices prior to any judging. 

Round 1: Beginning on or about September 1, 2021, Entries will be reviewed and scored by Sponsors’ panel of qualified judges composed of FIYAH Literary Magazine employees, and slush readers appointed by FIYAH Literary Magazine, according to the following 100-point scale: 

Clarity and originality of expression (20 points).

Significance and originality of thought (20 points).

Characters: presentation and development (20 points).

Structure (20 points).

Creativity (20 points).

In the event of a tie, the entry with the highest score in creativity shall win, further ties shall be broken using the scores for Structure, Characters, Significance, and Clarity, in that order. The top three (3) scoring Submissions will be deemed the “Winning Submissions,” and their authors will be deemed the “Winners.”

Round 2: Beginning on or about October 1, 2021, Diana M. Pho, L.D. Lewis, and LeVar Burton will judge the Winning Submissions using the 100-point scale set forth above to determine first, second, and third place winners. The Winning Submission scored highest by Mr. Burton shall be deemed the “First Place Winner,” second highest the “Second Place Winner,” and third highest the “Third Place Winner.” As in Round One, in the event of a tie, the entry with the highest score in creativity shall win, further ties shall be broken using the scores for Structure, Characters, Significance, and Clarity, in that order. If all categories are tied, the Round 1 score shall determine the winner. 

Winners will be notified by phone or email and will be required to respond (as directed) to the phone and/or email notification within Seventy-Two (72) hours of attempted notification. The failure to respond timely to the notification may result in forfeiture of the Prize; and, in such case, Sponsors may choose the next highest scoring entry from among the remaining eligible entries. Except where prohibited, acceptance of Prize constitutes a Winner’s consent to allow Sponsor and its promotional agents to use Winner’s name, likeness, photo, video footage, and/or biographical data for advertising and promotional purposes, without additional compensation, in perpetuity, in all media, now known or hereafter developed, in connection with Sponsor, this sweepstakes, and the Sponsor’s web sites. Winners will be required to sign and return to Sponsor an Affidavit of Eligibility, Publicity & Liability Release (“Affidavit”) and/or IRS Form W-9 (if required by IRS regulations) (collectively, “Prize Documents”), prior to and as a condition of acceptance of prize, WITHIN ONE (1) BUSINESS DAY OF RECEIPT OF NOTIFICATION or prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner selected.

The Winning Submissions and Winners’ full names may be announced and posted on the Internet, on air and in other media, in Sponsors’ sole discretion, without any compensation to Winners.

Prizes will be awarded within 45 days after Sponsor’s receipt and verification of completed Prize Documents. If a prize notification is undeliverable, or if a potential winner does not respond to the prize notification within the time specified, or if the potential winner cannot be contacted for any reason, or if the Prize Documents are not complete and received by Sponsor within the time required, or in the event of non-compliance with these Official Rules, the prize will be forfeited, and an alternate winner will be selected at Sponsor’s discretion.  

Being declared a prize winner does not afford any additional benefits from Sponsor. Sponsor’s only obligation to prize winner is to award the prize elements described in the prize paragraph in these Official Rules. 



First Place Prize: The First Place Winner shall receive $500 (five hundred dollars) and First Place Winner’s Submission shall be published on and read by LeVar Burton on an upcoming episode of the LeVar Burton Reads podcast.

Second Place Prize: The Second Place Winner shall receive $250 (two hundred and fifty dollars) and the Second Place Winner’s Submission shall be published on

Third Place Prize: The Third Place Winner shall receive $100 (one hundred dollars) and the Third Place Winner’s Submission shall be published on posts will be published on the blog. Exclusive for one year. The winning stories must comply with the Contest Rules and the Usage Rules in the Terms of Use found here: 

For all prizes, all federal, state and local taxes and other expenses in connection with the prize not expressly described herein as being awarded are the sole responsibility of the Winners. Winners are solely responsible for any other unspecified expenses related to their respective prizes. Winners cannot assign their prize to another person. No substitution of a prize is permitted, however Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize with another prize of equal or greater value. While it is Sponsors’ intention to award and perform the aforementioned prizes, they reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to publish or not publish, the Winning Submissions, and have Mr. Burton read the First Place Winner’s Submission.

CONDITIONS. This Contest is subject to these Official Rules. By participating, Entrants agree: (i) to be bound by these complete Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsors which shall be final and binding; and (ii) to waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Contest or these Official Rules, except where prohibited by law. By accepting a prize, Winners agree to release Sponsors and LeVar Burton Reads, including their parent, subsidiary and affiliated entities together with the respective directors, employees, officers, licensees, licensors and agents, and respective advertising and promotion entities and any person or entity associated with the production, judging, or administration of the Contest, (collectively, the “Releasees”) from any and all liability, loss or damage arising from or in connection with awarding, receipt and/or use or misuse of prize or participation in any prize-related activities. Sponsors reserve the right to cancel or suspend the Contest, in its sole discretion, should they receive fewer than 10 Entries, or receive no Submissions that have a judged score above 70 points, or due to circumstances beyond its control, including natural disasters. Submissions will not be returned and may be destroyed.

Incomplete, garbled, or otherwise illegible Submissions are void and will not be accepted. Sponsors are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected or corrupted Submissions, nor for any problems, bugs or malfunctions Entrants may encounter when submitting their Submissions. 

Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend the Sweepstakes should a virus, bug, computer problem, unauthorized intervention or other causes beyond Sponsors’ control, corrupt the administration, security or proper play of the Sweepstakes. Sponsors may prohibit an Entrant from participating in the Sweepstakes or winning prize if, in their sole discretion, they determine such Entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Sweepstakes in any way by cheating, hacking, deception, or any other unfair playing practices of intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other players or Sponsors’ representatives. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE SWEEPSTAKES MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE SWEEPSTAKES. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK REMEDIES AND DAMAGES (INCLUDING ATTORNEY FEES) TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

PUBLICITY: Sponsors reserve the right to use Submissions for limited publicity purposes prior to, during, or after the Contest end date, in any media, and to use the name and/or likeness of any Entrant, including up to 25% of their story, throughout the world, in perpetuity, without any compensation or prior review unless specifically prohibited by law. For clarity, the preceding sentence is intended only to allow Sponsors to use Submissions and Entrant information to promote the Contest and post-Contest news, and Sponsors will not monetize, sell, or publish any Submission, in whole or part, for commercial publication. 

Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of Winners. This Contest is void outside the United States and where prohibited or restricted by law, and subject to applicable federal, state, and local laws. Sponsors reserve the right to disqualify any Entrant they find to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Contest or violating these Official Rules.

LAW / DISPUTE RESOLUTION: This Contest shall be governed by and interpreted under the laws of the State of New York, U.S.A., without regard to its conflicts of laws provisions that may require the application of the laws of another jurisdiction. Any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action arising out of or in connection with this Contest shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action. Any action or litigation concerning this Contest shall take place exclusively in the federal or state courts sitting in New York, New York, and Entrants expressly consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in such courts and to waive all defenses of lack of jurisdiction and inconvenient forum with respect to such courts. Entrants agree to service of process by mail or other method acceptable under the laws of the State of New York. ANY CLAIMS, JUDGMENTS AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE LIMITED TO ACTUAL OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH ENTERING THIS CONTEST. ENTRANTS HEREBY WAIVE ANY RIGHTS OR CLAIMS TO ATTORNEY’S FEES, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, WHETHER FORESEEABLE OR NOT AND WHETHER BASED ON NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE.

PRIVACY. All personal information collected by Sponsors will be used for administration of the Contest and in accordance with Sponsors’ privacy policies. Entrants may be sent promotional material related to Sponsors’ products and services. Any questions regarding privacy matters should be directed to the address set out below. Please refer to Sponsors’ privacy policies located at and for important information regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information by Sponsors. 

Winners List: For the name of the Winners, available between 90-120 days following the end of the Contest Submission Period, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope (except where prohibited) and a note identifying the name of this Contest, to Sponsor at 5815 W Sunset Blvd STE 208, Los Angeles, CA 90028.

Official Contest Rules