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    Sixth Tone China Writing Contest: Frequently Asked Questions

    All your questions about the Sixth Tone China Writing Contest, answered.
    Nov 11, 2021#writing contest

    Welcome to the Sixth Tone China Writing Contest! Here is a brief FAQ we’ve compiled based on some of the commonly asked questions we’ve received so far. If you have a question that is not answered below, please feel free to contact us at and we’ll respond as soon as we can. 

    Q: What are the word limits?
    A: Submissions should be between 1,000 and 5,000 English words in length. With the exception of the grand prize, articles under 1,500 words and over 1,500 words will be judged separately.

    Q: How should I format my email submission?
    A: Please send your submission as an email attachment to The author’s name(s) and the total word count should be included in both the email subject line and the title of the attachment.

    At the end of your submission, please write your name(s), location (country/city), contact email address, and a short bio. The information will be used by the organizers for contact purposes only and will not be displayed to the judges.

    If you wish to include photographs or images in your submission, please send them along with the article as attachments. Submissions will not be penalized for a lack of visual elements.

    Q: How long will the judging process take?
    A: We expect to announce finalists by the end of May 2022, and the winners will be announced late next summer.

    Q: I intend to create a substantively new work related to the theme of “generations,” but this work may draw from pieces that I’ve previously published elsewhere, as well as some that aren’t published yet. Is that acceptable?
    A: Yes, as long as the submission is substantively new, but please cite your previous works in the footnotes whenever you draw from them.

    Q: We, a group of four, have already begun work on something that just so happens to dovetail with the theme of the contest. Is there a scenario in which we can join the contest?
    A: We must operate within the rules of the contest, meaning we can recognize no more than three authors per group.

    Q: What is your position on aliases?
    A: We encourage you to use real names whenever possible. If pseudonyms must be used, please make explicit note of them in the article. We may ask to verify their identities during the fact-checking process.

    Q: Can I submit one piece in the under-1500-words category, and another piece in the longer category? Also, am I allowed to participate both as an individual, and separately, as part of a team?

    A: You may submit up to one piece in each category, whether individually or as part of a team. Unfortunately, we cannot accept multiple entries from the same person in the same category, even if one is submitted as part of a team and the other is not.

    For more questions about eligibility, rules, and guidelines please refer to the contest webpage.