Announcing the 2022 U.S. Naval Institute-CIMSEC Fiction Contest

By the Editorial Staff of CIMSEC and U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings

The Challenge

Fiction is a powerful tool for testing hypotheticals and imagining other worlds as a means of examining our own. Once again, CIMSEC and the U.S. Naval Institute have partnered to invite authors to ask “What if?” as a means of exploring different visions of the future of maritime security.

Authors might consider how conflicts might play out in the near or distant future. Or they might use historical fiction or alternate history as a means of illuminating something important about today’s international environment. All that is required is a compelling tale, a convincing narrative, and a chance to learn something about today through the author’s exploration of yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

Read last year’s top 10 contest stories on CIMSEC here.

Submission Guidelines

  • Word Count: 3,000 words maximum (excludes endnotes/sources).
  • Include word count on title page but do not include author name(s) on title page or within the text.
  • Stories must be original and not previously published (online or in print) or being considered for publication elsewhere.
  • The contest is open to all contributors.
  • One submission per contributor.
  • Submit story as a Word document at

Deadline: September 15, 2022

Selection Process

The Naval Institute and CIMSEC staffs will evaluate all entries and provide the top essays to a select panel of military novelists for judging. All essays will be judged in the blind—i.e., the staffs and judging panel will not know the authors of the essays. 


• First Prize: $500 and a 1-year membership
in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.
• Second Prize: $300 and a 1-year membership in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.
• Third Prize: $200 and a 1-year membership
in the Naval Institute and CIMSEC.


The winning essays will be published in Proceedings or on the Naval Institute and CIMSEC websites. Non-winning essays also may be selected for publication. 

We look forward to receiving your submissions and partnering with the U.S. Naval Institute to enhance the conversation around maritime security.

Featured Image: Art station/Aleksandre-Lortki Panidze

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