H.G. Wells Writing Competition Bans Science Fiction, Gets Zero Entries

Reg Turnill, with the assistance of the famous author's family, runs an annual short story writing competition in honor of H.G. Wells. This year, due to what Turnill saw as a slew of inferior submissions, he added strict requirements for participants. Submitted stories could not be about science fiction, and they had to be written in longhand. The result? No one entered the contest:

The 94-year-old said: “I wanted people to write the stories by hand as a condition of entry to address the low standard of literacy and handwriting these days.

“It’s an important art in itself and many of our most famous authors find that’s the best way to do creative writing.

“I also wanted the stories to reflect life in 2010 so they would interest readers in 2110, in the way that Wells’ stories do.

“My aim in offering the £1,000 prize was to get people to mimic what Wells did in the 1900s.”

Mr Turnill said last year’s HG Wells competition entries consisted mostly of sci-fi, so he wanted to be more specific in what this year’s should contain.

“Last year there were plenty of entries because the competition was open to writers of all ages and stories could include science fiction, depicting ghastly invasions of our everyday lives by all sorts of nameless horrors,” he said.

Link via blastr | Photo: Yale University

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