ANNOUNCING: Redshirts Fan Art Contest, Top Prize $250 Entries Due 5/16

So, here’s the deal:

I think it might be fun to do a slideshow of Redshirts-related fan art in advance of the book release, but I have a problem: I don’t have any Redshirts-related fan art. Possibly because the book isn’t released yet.

How do I solve this problem? As so many problems are solved — by throwing money at it! Thus, a fan art contest for Redshirts (or more accurately, featuring the poor schmucks who are red shirts) that anyone can enter.

Here’s what I’m looking for:

1. Original art by you (this is important), not of any specific copyrighted universe except my own (i.e., no Star Trek, Star Wars, Stargate, etc — this is also important, because I don’t want to get sued), featuring red shirt characters, mostly being doomed in interesting ways, as red shirts so often are. This lends itself amusing situations for artists, and I encourage that, but the art doesn’t have to be funny; you can make it tense or exciting or sad or whatever. It should be not especially gory — think PG.

(For those of you who want to make your red shirts part of the Redshirts universe, here’s a link to an online excerpt of the book. Note you’ll have to register with to access it. If you don’t want to do that, the excerpt is available for free in the US on Kindle, Nook, Google and iTunes. For the purposes of creating the artwork for the contest, I will grant you a Creative Commons non-commercial license to make a derivative artwork from the text.)

This should probably go without saying, but: The red shirt characters? Dress them in red shirts, please.

2. Artwork should be at least 1920 x 1080 and in those proportions regardless of size (i.e., HD-sized, and wider than tall — I do want to standardize the images) and in high-quality .jpg form, and sent as an attached .jpg file to “” You may submit more than one entry if you’re feeling ambitious.

3. All artwork should be sent by 11:59pm (Eastern time) Wednesday, May 16, 2012.

Here’s what I have planned, and what you agree to:

I will look at each entry and pick the top 25 to 50 (or so) and then show those to my hand-picked jury, who will pick the five they like the most. Those five I will post here on my Web site to let my readers select the one they like the best. The top vote-getter will receive $250 and a signed ARC of Redshirts; the second place vote-getter will get $100 and a signed ARC; third place gets $50 and a signed ARC.

I may want to show off some or all of the pieces that made the initial cut through a slideshow, possibly with done as a YouTube or other video to accompany (non-disparaging) audio commentary and/or music. If I use your artwork, I may pan/crop/spotlight, etc., but otherwise will not alter the work.

If I choose to use your artwork for the slideshow, I will pay you $10 for a non-exclusive license to do so. The license will allow me to use your artwork in the slideshow/video, and will allow for the artwork, as part of the slideshow/video, to be shared via Creative Commons. I will make no other claims to your work (except as noted above, with regards to CC non-commercial licensing). You made it; it’s yours. I just want to be able to show it off.

Likewise, I have no intent to make any money from your artwork, except in the indirect sense that people may be inspired to rush off and get the book (I may include links or information on how to do that, but probably not over your artwork).

If I use your artwork for the slideshow/video, I will give you credit, either during the slideshow/video, or here on Whatever. I’m big on giving credit where credit is due.

(The top three pieces will of course be featured as well, under the same guidelines, although the $10 license is incorporated in the winnings.)

If you enter the contest, you do so with the understanding that I may choose to use your artwork for a slideshow/video and that you agree to allow me to do so, if I want to, under the terms noted above. Likewise, that you are aware that I may choose not to use or highlight your artwork, in which case there will be no compensation for your work (sorry).

Finally, I reserve the right to cancel the contest if I deem it necessary to do so, in which case I will not make any claim to any submitted artwork in any sense (nor will I give out contest awards). Let’s hope that’s not the case, though; I’m mostly just putting that there to cover my ass.

Who can enter:

Anyone, as far as I’m concerned. It would help me if you had a valid PayPal account, however, so I could send you whatever money I owe you as easily as possible (for me). That said, you’re responsible for awareness of all your local laws regarding contests and payments, blah blah blah.

Any questions? Put them in the comments. And yes, please feel free to send this to anyone you’d like.

17 Comments on “ANNOUNCING: Redshirts Fan Art Contest, Top Prize $250 Entries Due 5/16”

  1. in the event of someone not having a pay pal account and getting in the top however many, how would you pay them? Can the artwork use (not copyrighted) digital images? can it be video? or are you going for a stricter definition of art? (i.e. drawings)?

    also, this is awesome.

  2. lovelylikebeestings:

    1. I’d write them a check.
    2. Digital images that are not copyrighted are fine.
    3. Video is not — note I want everything as a .jpg. I won’t be downloading any other sort of file.
    4. Drawings, paintings, cartoons, whatever — as long as it is original to you in its creation and can be sent as a .jpg.

  3. i have a small question regarding the “strictness” of what makes a redshirt in your universe. since redshirt is both a role term and a visual descriptor, and you made clear that you want the visual part to be adhered to, i wanted to ask whether scalzian redshirts literally wear red shirts, or whether they are color coded with red in whatever makes visual sense in a given context. (red rank badges, caps, glow stripes on power armour, etc… as long as it is prominent enough)

    now off to read – found a non-locked-in version of chapter 1 at macmillans site.

  4. Gekitsu:

    Red should be a prominent part of their look, enough so that there’s no doubt who is/are the “redshirt(s)” of the image.

  5. Cool. I’m going to get right on this. I was thinking of giving you a print of my drawing of Cthulhu Lord Snuggleston (because I’m sure that’s something you need cluttering up your house) if you came to Seattle on the book tour, but if I can manage to make something slideshow-worthy, that’ll do.

  6. If I choose to use your artwork for the slideshow, I will pay you $10 for a non-exclusive license to do so.

    Very classy. (Not being sarcastic. I am somewhat sad that this level of classiness does stand out, but that’s another issue.)

  7. Oh yeah… Redshirts ala Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra! (as inspiration only; I get the whole “thou shall not step in / on other universes…)

  8. This is a great idea! I only wish my artistic skills were up to the challenge (they’re really not). I shall look forward to the end result!

  9. I would just like to say I am super impressed with the attention to attribution, copyright, and compensation. So many art contests are just scams to get art on the cheap without contracting a real artist and paying them. Glad (but not surprised) to see you are a sterling example of how such things should be done.

  10. If I don’t get your “polite but automated” email in reply, should I assume that you did not receive that particular entry? Yes, I checked my spam filter.

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