Alex Calladine has asked me to publicise this – and I’m only too happy to oblige:

SYBHEL Short Story Competition

Synthetic Biology & Human Health: Myths, Fables & Synthetic Futures

Calling all writers, film makers, animators and artists – do you have a story to tell about the impact synthetic biology may have on future people?

Throughout history people have used their imaginations to create stories. While stories often entertain, they are also used to make sense of human experience and gain insight into philosophical questions. In the 20th century, writers such as Huxley, Orwell, Burgess and Ballard have employed futuristic narratives to explore the philosophical, psychological and moral issues raised by the interaction between technology and society.

The possible health advances from the emerging science of synthetic biology may have a significant impact on both our lives and the lives of future people. It may result in medical applications which affect human experience and the sorts of people who come in to existence. It may lead to new ways of treating diseases, such as targeted cancer treatments, which could radically extend the human lifespan. Or, it could give us new psychopharmaceuticals which allow us, or other people to change our emotions and psychological states. It may also lead to people having new physical capabilities and powers which human beings have never had before

The SYBHEL Project is instigating a short story competition in order to imaginatively consider these sorts of issues through the creation of fictional narratives. We are interested in stories told using a range of different media including, writing, film, animation, graphic novels, spoken word or music. If you would like to enter and see the prizes on offer please visit for further information, you can also follow us on twitter @SYBHEL_Project.


1st Prize £100

Two 2nd Prizes £50

In addition to the cash prize there will also be an opportunity for shortlisted stories to be published in some form on the SYBHEL website. Winners may also have the opportunity to be invited to the final SYBHEL Project event.

Further details are available here.  Get writing!

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