Creative Science Writing Contest: only 3 weeks left, $100 top prize! announces its first-ever “Sci with Fi” Writing Contest

WritingContest pdf flyer to share


As a writer, reader, educator, and scholar I’m passionate about science and scientific literacy.  Part of what motivates me to do what I do (including write Petroplague) is the belief that fiction can be a powerful tool for teaching scientific fact.  If you’re a writer and you agree with me, enter this contest!


Submit any work of fiction (including, but not limited to, short stories, poetry, fables, and short graphic works/comics) that meets the following criteria:

  1. The work is suitable for a youth audience (grades 4-12)
  2. The work contains accurate scientific content
  3. The scientific content should feel entertaining but secretly be educational.
  4. The work should be between a few hundred and a few thousand words in length. Maximum length: 4,000 words.
  5. If entry includes artwork, figures, or images they must be the original work of the contestant and must be submitted in digital format

Nonfiction entries are also permitted if the story is presented in a thrilling or entertaining style (for example, Richard Preston’s THE HOT ZONE).


PRIZES: (guaranteed)

  • 1st place: $100
  • 2nd place: $50
  • 3rd place: $25


Submissions will be accepted until June 30, 2012.  Winners will be chosen by August 1st, 2012.


ScienceThrillers is looking for pieces that young people will enjoy reading and that convey some scientific truth or information along with the fun.  The priority should be on entertainment, inasmuch as sticking education into a boring piece that nobody reads will not advance scientific literacy.  Within the spectrum of entries that are entertaining, winners will be those that maximize the educational content while still being fun to read.

Your work may have science in the background (for example, a story set at the bottom of the ocean that acknowledges aspects of the physical & biological environment there), or it may make a single scientific point (for example, a poem or riddle that personifies gravity), or it may incorporate a series of scientific concepts (for example, a mystery that uses a variety of forensics clues).  Length will not be a factor in the judging decision; make your work as short or as long as it deserves to be, but never more than 4000 words.

Poetry should be of the concrete variety (think Shel Silverstein), not too abstract or obtuse.

Strive to be funny, or scary, or exciting, or something emotionally compelling in your entry–this is what will engage the reader.


1.  Pay the entry fee using PayPal.

2.  Email your entry as a Word document attachment and send it to ScienceThrillers. In the body of your email, please include:

  • Your name
  • Where you live
  • An email address (which I will use to contact you if you win). If this is different from the payment address used with PayPal, please include at least part of the PayPal address too so I can confirm receipt of your entry fee.
  • A title for your work
  • Word count of the work
  • If you are under 18 years of age, please state that you are a minor

If you have a problem or question about payment (for example, you can’t use PayPal), contact me. If you have a question about submitting your entry, please ask before paying the entry fee as no PayPal refunds will be given.


  • Talented young adults under the age of 18 are welcome to enter with their parent’s permission
  • Only original, previously unpublished material that is the property of the author may be submitted
  • The three winners give ScienceThrillers permission to post their work on the website but authors retain all rights
  • If more than 50 qualified entries are received, ScienceThrillers reserves the right to either increase the dollar value of the prizes and/or to increase the number of cash prizes given.  Cash winners in excess of the three guaranteed winners also agree to have their work posted at
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