Category Archives: News

Young writers competition

Calling young writers with something to say! ‘Future Stories’ is a writing competition and series of writing workshops for young people aged 11 to 16 who have a story to tell about life in the future.

The “Future Stories: One Day in 2070” competition is part of the King’s College London Utopia Now project and open to young writers in the London boroughs of Lambeth or Southwark.

The competition is open from now until 6 September with some fantastic prizes:

  • Ten of the most creative writers will be selected to take part in a creative writing day, exploring the world of the future.
  • Finalists will also receive a £30 Book Voucher. 
  • All entries will be put into a prize draw to win either a Build Your Own Robot Kit or Book Voucher worth £15.  

Alongside the competition is the 7 day writing story starter challenge. This is a great set of resources, starting with a section on What is Science Fiction followed by 30 to 40 minute sections each day. It takes you through the creative process of writing a science fiction story with writing prompts, film clips, book extracts and loads more to help you along your way.

For those of you who are not eligible to enter, don’t despair. The resources are there for you to use as well.

As one of the judges I’m really looking forward to having my mind stretched by all the speculative stories sent our way so get cracking, you have until 6 September to create your version of the future.


photo credit: wim hoppenbrouwers Bijenkorf Rotterdam 3D via photopin (license)

Stop the Dystopia, I Want To Get On

Whether to write dystopian or utopian stories is an ongoing choice for science fiction writers and something I’m often questioned about. I’ve been pondering this for a while and my thoughts to date are featured in this month’s Focus, the British Science Fiction Association’s magazine for writers.

As the editor says, “Stephen discusses the implications for writers and also explores whether it’s a binary choice between the two.”

PS this was written before the current crisis, but it’s probably even more pertinent now.


photo credit: tsbl2000 Evening Class via photopin (license)

Is PITH for you?

Here is a recent example from PITH:

I was at the gym the other day, which is a strange experience for me. There were people pushing large tractor tires around the room and it made me wonder. If we spend our time replicating work from a past generation to keep fit, what might the gym of the future look like?
Will it be rows of desks with people exercising their typing fingers now voice activation is ubiquitous?
Or maybe machines with three pedals and a steering wheel?


Emails to PITH subscribers are infrequent and fairly random, but always short and pithy.

I’m not particularly public about it either – avoiding the ‘subscribe now and get a free gift’ approach. However, from time to time I let people know it exists, hence this post.

You can sign up at https://tinyurl.com/PITHLIST


Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kumarsedit/16443534782