The Fountain Award is given to short stories (up to 7500 words) of exceptional literary quality. The Award is judged by a select jury, and is chosen from work nominated by magazine and anthology editors for the year in question. The judges for the 2004 award (for works published in 2003) were Heinz Insu Fenkl, John Kessel, Larissa Lai, Kelly Link, and Maureen McHugh.
SLF is particularly pleased to note the participation of many mainstream publications in the Award, in addition to traditional genre venues. Stories receiving honorable mentions included works from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Conjunctions #41 and Missouri Review.