Fantastic Stories


After a break of almost two years, we are very happy and proud to announce yet another edition of the Heroes Dutch Comic Con Fantastic Stories Competition! Organized by the American Book Center in collaboration with Zilverspoor. It is time to show your writing skills. If you’ve been walking around with an idea for a madness story for a while, quickly get into the pen and join in! The winners will be crowned during the upcoming edition of HDCC.


Do you want to participate in this competition? Click on the button below!


● All genres are allowed (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, YA, etc, etc) as long as it contains a fantastic element and fits the theme of Hope & Despair.
● Stories can be up to 2000 words long.
● No fan-fiction about characters or franchises that are copyrighted (i.e. no stories about Gandalf, Zelda, Batman or a Harry Potter Quidditch match, etc, etc.)
● Stories may be written in either English or Dutch.
● Stories must be uploaded as a Word document.
● By entering the competition, you agree that your story may be included in the Fantastic Stories 2022 bundle. The bundle is printed with Betty the Bookmachine of the American Book Center in Amsterdam. All further rights remain with the author.


You can submit your story from September 1 until September 30. You can upload your story via the button above.

An expert jury will select ten finalists from the many entries in October. The finalists will be announced on Tuesday 25 October. The public will then have the opportunity to vote for the best story from October 25 until November 17. The stories of the finalists will be bundled in the Fantastic Stories 2022 bundle. This will be printed by the American Book Center in Amsterdam. The winner will be announced during Heroes Dutch Comic Con on Sunday 20 November.

All ten finalists will receive an entry ticket to the Heroes Dutch Comic Con and two copies of the Fantastic Stories 2022 bundle. The winner will also receive a gift card from the American Book Center worth €100.

Theme: Hope and Despair

The theme for this edition of the Fantastic Stories competition is ‘Hope & Despair’. Almost all stories contain the two elements of hope and despair. From Frodo dedicating the Ring of Doom to Katniss Everdeen braving the perils of the Hunger Games. Hope for better times and keep fighting for them, even when everything seems to be lost, is the common thread in the many stories we tell each other.

We are interested in stories that contrast the two elements in an interesting way. How do we deal with setbacks and disasters as a group? How do you maintain hope when the world seems to be collapsing?

A few points to consider as you ponder the theme of How does hope and despair affect the following:
• folklore and myths
• gods and religious traditions
• nature and ecological systems
• technology and innovation
• disasters and bereavement
• ideas about groups
• ideas about identity

“But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.”

– Samwise Gamgee, ‘The Two Towers.

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