Announcing Our First Short Story Contest (With Prizes!)

A laptop and notepad waiting for a writer.

(© MohdHafiez/Fotolia)


Leapsmag is all about high-quality journalism and expert commentary. So you may be wondering, why are we hosting a fiction contest?

The answer is that some of the most visionary ideas for the future of humanity and technology first emerged in fiction, from Jules Verne's prescient novels about space, air, and underwater travels in the 19th century, to Arthur C. Clarke's prediction of satellite communications in 1945, to Isaac Asimov's exploration of robot ethics in the 1950s, to William Gibson's depiction of "cyberspace" in 1982.

But speculative fiction writers don't only anticipate big breakthroughs; they also care about probing the societal, personal, and moral impacts of new technology.

Will the next astute observation come in the form of a short story for leapsmag? Let's find out!

ABOUT THE CONTEST:

The Prompt:

Explore a big moral question or a new opportunity raised by an emerging technology today, in the form of an original, previously unpublished piece of fiction of up to 3000 words.

The Rules:

Submissions must be received by midnight EST on September 15th, 2018. Send your story as a double-spaced attachment in size 12 Times New Roman font to kira@leapsmag.com. Include your name and a short bio. It is free to enter, and authors retain all ownership of their work. Upon submitting an entry, the author agrees to grant leapsmag one-time nonexclusive publication rights.

All submissions will be judged by the Editor-in-Chief on the basis of insightfulness, originality, quality of storytelling, and relevance to the prompt. The Contest is open to anyone around the world of any age, except for the friends and family of leapsmag staff and associates.

The winners will be announced by October 15th, 2018.

The Prizes:

Grand Prize: $500, publication of your story on leapsmag, and promotion on our social media channels.

First Runner-Up: $100 and a shout-out on our social media channels.

Good luck!

Kira Peikoff
Kira Peikoff is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Nautilus, Popular Mechanics, The New York Academy of Sciences, and other outlets. She is also the author of four suspense novels that explore controversial issues arising from scientific innovation: Living Proof, No Time to Die, Die Again Tomorrow, and Mother Knows Best. Peikoff holds a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.
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Amber Freed and Maxwell near their home in Denver, Colorado.

Courtesy Amber Freed

Amber Freed felt she was the happiest mother on earth when she gave birth to twins in March 2017. But that euphoric feeling began to fade over the next few months, as she realized her son wasn't making the same developmental milestones as his sister. "I had a perfect benchmark because they were twins, and I saw that Maxwell was floppy—he didn't have muscle tone and couldn't hold his neck up," she recalls. At first doctors placated her with statements that boys sometimes develop slower than girls, but the difference was just too drastic. At 10 month old, Maxwell had never reached to grab a toy. In fact, he had never even used his hands.

Thinking that perhaps Maxwell couldn't see well, Freed took him to an ophthalmologist who was the first to confirm her worst fears. He didn't find Maxwell to have vision problems, but he thought there was something wrong with the boy's brain. He had seen similar cases before and they always turned out to be rare disorders, and always fatal. "Start preparing yourself for your child not to live," he had said.

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Lina Zeldovich
Lina Zeldovich has written about science, medicine and technology for Scientific American, Reader’s Digest, Mosaic Science and other publications. She’s an alumna of Columbia University School of Journalism and the author of the upcoming book, The Other Dark Matter: The Science and Business of Turning Waste into Wealth, from Chicago University Press. You can find her on http://linazeldovich.com/ and @linazeldovich.

On May 13th, scientific and medical experts will discuss and answer questions about the vaccine for those under 16.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

This virtual event will convene leading scientific and medical experts to discuss the most pressing questions around the COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens. A public Q&A will follow the expert discussion.

DATE:

Thursday, May 13th, 2021

12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. EDT

LOCATION:

Virtual on Zoom

REGISTER NOW

You can submit a question for the speakers upon registering.

Dr. H. Dele Davies, M.D., MHCM

Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean for Graduate Studies at the University of Nebraska Medical (UNMC). He is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric infectious diseases and a leader in community health.

Dr. Emily Oster, Ph.D.

Professor of Economics at Brown University. She is a best-selling author and parenting guru who has pioneered a method of assessing school safety.

Dr. Tina Q. Tan, M.D.

Professor of Pediatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University. She has been involved in several vaccine survey studies that examine the awareness, acceptance, barriers and utilization of recommended preventative vaccines.

Dr. Inci Yildirim, M.D., Ph.D., M.Sc.

Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Infectious Disease); Medical Director, Transplant Infectious Diseases at Yale School of Medicine; Associate Professor of Global Health, Yale Institute for Global Health. She is an investigator for the multi-institutional COVID-19 Prevention Network's (CoVPN) Moderna mRNA-1273 clinical trial for children 6 months to 12 years of age.

About the Event Series

This event is the second of a four-part series co-hosted by Leaps.org, the Aspen Institute Science & Society Program, and the Sabin–Aspen Vaccine Science & Policy Group, with generous support from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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Kira Peikoff
Kira Peikoff is a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Newsweek, Nautilus, Popular Mechanics, The New York Academy of Sciences, and other outlets. She is also the author of four suspense novels that explore controversial issues arising from scientific innovation: Living Proof, No Time to Die, Die Again Tomorrow, and Mother Knows Best. Peikoff holds a B.A. in Journalism from New York University and an M.S. in Bioethics from Columbia University. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and son.