Writing Competition


We are pleased to announce a creative-writing competition for science fiction on the theme of medicine, health, and illness.

Science fiction has a long tradition of medical stories: Frankenstein (reanimation), The Island of Doctor Moreau (surgery, tissue grafting), Brave New World (eugenics), Flowers for Algernon (disability), I Am Legend (contagious disease), The Continuous Katherine Mortenhoe (terminal illness), Woman on the Edge of Time (psychiatry), Never Let Me Go (cloning, transplantation) … and many others. Our creative-writing competition is intended to stimulate new work in this fruitful area.

We invite science-fiction short stories (and also self-contained novel excerpts) of up to 3000 words that address themes of medicine, health, and illness. Some possible ideas for work might be:

Future/alien medicine and doctors
Computerized/robotic healthcare
Engineered diseases and alien plagues
Future/alien conceptions of health and illness, including mental health and illness
Utopian/dystopian visions of health, illness, and medicine
Cosmetic and/or elective surgery/transplantation/modification
Present and future disabilities, and their social/cultural (de)construction
Public health and population health, at a global or galactic level
Alternate medical history (what if a medical pioneer had died young, and/or a particular discovery/advance never been made?)

Entries should be no more than 3000 words, and no entrant may submit more than two entries.

The top three entries, and up to seventeen runners-up, will be published in the competition anthology.

First Prize: £300
Second Prize: £200
Third Prize: £150
Runners-up: £50

Entry is free of charge and open to anyone over 18. Please see the full competition rules.

Entries should be submitted by our new deadline of 29 February 2016 using the online form.

Winners will be decided as soon as possible after the deadline, with a formal announcement at the closing conference to the project ‘Science Fiction and the Medical Humanities’ in mid-2016. We anticipate publication of the competition anthology toward the end of 2016.