The Sci-fi Writing Competition is run by the science magazine of Imperial College London, I, Science.
The competition was established to foster creativity around scientific subjects, encouraging students to explore the intersection of art and science using a thematic prompt for inspiration.
‘Our short sci-fi story competition saw lots of fantastic entries this year, so much so that we have decided to display them all here on our website – a massive thanks to all who entered, we enjoyed them immensely!Freya Masters, 2021
Click the link below to be enveloped in some truly wondrous worlds, and don’t forget to check out our winning piece in our print version too!
MSc Science Communication student
Features Editor and Sci-fi Writing Competition Coordinator for I, Science
The Sci-fi Writing Competition is open to all Imperial College London students, and is run once every academic year in the Autumn term (September-December). If you are a student who would like to take part in the competition, keep an eye on the I,Science social media pages for more details on how to enter, including submission deadlines.
The submission deadline for 2021 stories has passed.
Results for the 2021 competition have now been announced – click the link above to explore the submitted entries and read the winning story!
- Do I have to be a current student at Imperial to take part in the competition?
- Do I have to be studying a particular course or be part of a particular faculty or department?
- What should my story be about, and do I have to write something strictly relating to the prompt we are given?
- My story: how long should it be? What format should it be submitted in? Where should I send it?
- So the winning article gets published, are there any other prizes on offer?
- There are other questions I want to ask, who should I get in touch with and how?
(1) Do I have to be a current student at Imperial to take part in the competition?
Yes, you have to be a current student studying an academic course at Imperial College London to take part in the competition.
(2) Do I have to be studying a particular course or be part of a particular faculty or department?
No, you don’t! Anyone studying at Imperial, regardless of what they study, or what faculty or department they are part of, are welcome to take part in the competition
(3) What should my story be about, and do I have to write something strictly relating to the prompt we are given?
The story you submit to the competition should depict science of the future (the good, the bad, and the ugly!), with relation to the prompted theme.
The beauty of this competition is that the prompt is broad for a reason – 2021 competition prompt ‘Spectrum’ can mean anything you want it to mean, and you get to interpret it any way you want – after all, it’s your story! When writing, you should keep in mind that the point is to be creative with your work; incorporate ideas as wacky and unique as you like!
That being said, remember that the winning story will be published in the Autumn print of Imperial’s I,Science magazine (as well as on our online Features page with the runners-up), alongside articles touching on the same prompt, so make sure your link to the theme is still recognisable.
(4) My story: how long should it be? What format should it be submitted in? Where should I send it?
Your story should be a written text that is no longer than 800 words. These must be submitted in a readable format e.g. as a PDF or Word document, by sending it in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on the deadline stipulated in the sections above and on our social media channels.
(5) So the winning article gets published, are there any other prizes on offer?
See below a list of prizes that will be awarded:
For the winner:
- The student’s story will be published in the Autumn print of Imperial’s I,Science magazine.
- The student’s article will also be published in the magazine’s digital issue, as well as a feature article on the I,Science website.
- The student shall also receive copies of the printed magazine for themselves and their family/friends
Prizes for the 2nd and 3rd place runners up:
- These students will have their articles published on the features page of the I, Science website.
- Their articles will be mentioned but not included in the printed I,Science magazine – directions on where to find their articles will be given.
(6) There are other questions I want to ask, who should I get in touch with and how?
Our main points of contact are the Competition Coordinator for the Sci-fi Writing Competition as well as the Co-editors in chief for I,Science. Please see below for the relevant names and contact details:
Faye Saulsbury & Jacklin Kwan
Co-editors in Chief at I, Science
Features Editor for I, Science
Sci-fi Writing Competition Coordinator