Subtle Science Short Story Challenge

Editor's note We would like to heartily recommend this event/competition for all writers in or near London who would like the chance to incorporate science into their fiction. will be one of the four judges, and the three top stories will be published by GuardianUnlimited Books. Read on for all the details!


at THE DANA CAFÉ, LONDON SCIENCE MUSEUMon Wednesday May 10th at 7.30 pm

Are you a fiction-writer searching for new ideas and new characters? We invite you to come along and discover the goldmine of topics, ideas and images that science provides – and to explore what being a scientist means.

During an informal evening in the Dana Café, you can meet and talk to four enthusiastic scientists about their research, and receive a few hints on ‘putting science into fiction’. You will also have the chance to visit one of the scientists’ labs after the event.

You will be invited to write a short story that touches on some of the science you have heard about, and to submit it to the Subtle Science Short Story competition. The competition will be judged by a panel led by Lavinia Greenlaw – and the winner and the two runners-up will be published in GuardianUnlimited Books.

The scientists:

Dr Sarah-Jayne Blakemore (Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London) looks at development of social cognition in adolescence and autism

Dr Chris Davis (Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Chilton) studies ‘space weather’ and solar storms

Dr Richard Herrington (Dept. of Mineralogy, Natural History Museum, London) analyses mineral deposits around ancient ‘black smokers’

Dr Ian Mackenzie (Institute of Cell & Molecular Science, London) looks at the relationships between stem cells, tissue engineering and cancer

Dr Ann Lackie, one of SciTalk’s founders, will wear her ‘writer’s hat’ (as novelist Ann Lingard) and look at ways of writing about science in fiction

Find out more about these and other scientists by visiting SciTalk, the resource for novelists, poets and playwrights.

The competition:

The competition deadline is June 30th 2006.
The maximum length for a submitted story is 3000 words.
Entry is free – further details and entry forms will be provided at the event.

The judges:

Lavinia Greenlaw, poet and novelist (and former writer-in-residence at the Science Museum)

Sarah Crown: Editor of GuardianUnlimited Books

Dr Jennifer Rohn: former virologist, and Editor of the online magazine

Dr Ann Lackie: novelist; founder of SciTalk

It is essential to book a place for this free event.
Note that only those writers who attend may register for the short story competition and visit the labs.
All events are open to anyone aged 18 or over.

Call the Dana Centre on +44 (0)20 7942 4040 or email
Dana Centre
Wellcome Wolfson Building
165 Queen's Gate

dana centernestaSciTalk

This Dana Centre event is also supported by SciTalk, NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts), the GuardianUnlimited and LabLit online magazine.