WID partners with To the Best of Our Knowledge and the Center for the Humanities for 3-Minute Futures Flash Fiction Contest

Love Sci-fi? Love to Write?

WID, along with its partners To the Best of Our Knowledge and the UW Center for the Humanities, is looking for great sci-fi stories, based on real science and set in the near future. Sci-fi master Kim Stanley Robinson, best known for The Mars Trilogy, will choose the winner.

Kim Stanley Robinson
Kim Stanley Robinson

The winning stories will be turned into radio plays, produced by To the Best of Our Knowledge and LA’s Ensemble Studio Theatre, directed by Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation).

WID and its partners are hosting an event to explore literature, science and the future with Robinson on April 9, 2014.

Story Guidelines

Your story must be set in the near future and draw on the tradition of “hard” science fiction, science fiction that is scientifically plausible. Want more information about hard sci-fi? Check out this article from io9.

Possible story themes include: communication, energy, computing, robotics, biomedicine, drones, spaceflight, nanotechnology, ecological concerns, food production, reproduction, end-of-life, surveillance.

It should be 500-600 words, short enough to be read aloud in three minutes. It must be suitable to air on public radio. You can submit only one story to this competition.


The stories will be judged in terms of creativity and plausibility. The submissions will be judged in rounds, first by TTBOOK, and second through the Center for the Humanities and WID.

Renowned science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson will choose the three top stories.


The top three stories will be dramatized by the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles. The artistic director of EST/LA is Gates McFadden, best known for her work as Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The grand prize winner will receive an autographed copy of Shaman from Kim Stanley Robinson. The winning story will be showcased at a science symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison on April 9, featuring a panel with Robinson.

Deadline for submission is March 1, 2014.


Submit your story and view the official rules at To the Best of Our Knowledge’s website.

Track the contest and event on Twitter with the hashtag #flashfutures.


To the Best of Our Knowledge

Center for the Humanities