Fantastic Stories


Calling all writers! The story competition of Heroes Dutch Comic Con is starting again! Organized by the American Book Center in collaboration with Zilverspoor , this story competition is the perfect moment to put your writing skills on display. Have you had a great story idea bouncing around in your head for ages, or is one just starting to bubble up? Grab a pen (or keyboard) and join in! The winner will be crowned during the upcoming Winter Edition on November 23 & 24, 2024!


The winner will be announced during the upcoming Winter Edition of Heroes Dutch Comic Con at the Cozy Corner stage.


  • All genres are welcome (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, YA, etc.) as long as the story contains a fantastic element and fits the theme of Toxic & Benign.
  • Stories may not exceed 5,000 words.
  • Fan fiction about characters or franchises that are copyrighted is not allowed. No stories about Gandalf, Superman, or Zelda!
  • Stories may be written in either English or Dutch.
  • Stories must be submitted as a Word file.
  • By uploading a story, you agree that your story might be selected for the Fantastic Stories 2024 bundle. This book will be printed on Betty the Book Machine at the American Book Center in Amsterdam, and will be available for sale at ABC stores after the award ceremony. All other rights remain with the author.


Submission period: July 1st until August 31st.

From July 1st until August 31st you may submit your story. You can upload your story via the upload link, which will come online a few days in advance of July 1st.

In September, the jury will select five finalists from all submissions. On Tuesday, October 8th, the five finalists will be announced. Their stories will be available to read on this website from October 8th until November 12th. During that time, the audience will be able vote for their favorite story. The winner will be announced at Heroes Dutch Comic Con in the Jaarbeurs Utrecht in November.

The finalists’ five stories will be collected in the Fantastic Stories 2024 bundle. This book will be printed on Betty, the Espresso Book Machine at the American Book Center in Amsterdam.

All five finalists will receive a weekend ticket for Heroes Dutch Comic Con, and two copies of the Fantastic Stories 2024 bundle. The winner will receive Gift Certificates for the American Book Center worth €150!

Theme: Toxic & Benign

“You have slipped under my skin, invaded my blood, and seized my heart. You have poisoned me.” – Maria V. Snyder, Poison Study

The theme for this edition of the Fantastic Stories Competition is ‘Toxic & Benign.’

Crafty poisoners, hired by political climbers to dispose of their rivals. Dark magic, allowing its users to do great works while slowly corrupting them. A chosen one, meant to free the world from a plague. Evil monarchs, poisoning the lands they rule. A world populated by animals – some harmless, some venomous. There are many angles to take when tackling this theme, and we are excited to see what you come up with.

We are looking for stories that develop the concepts of toxic and benign in an interesting way.
To get you started, here are some things you can keep in mind while writing your story. How do ideas about what is toxic and what is benign influence…
● …folklore and mythology?
● …family and strangers?
● …technology and innovation?
● …wealth and poverty?
● …cooperation and conflicts?
● …concepts of identity?