SciFest 2016’s Short Story Writing Competition! Winners Announced!

Science Fiction may be known for lengthy novels and long-running series, but short stories have always been central to the genre. SciFest Yorkshire 2016 invited young writers to creats their own very short story: a postcard from another world.
The competition was open to people aged 11-18, and split into three age groups:
Ages 11-13
Ages 14-15
Ages 16-18
All stories were judged by an expert panel, led by Anne Fine, award-winning children’s author of books for all ages, including the wonderful Madame Doubtfire.
Each age group has one winner, who will receive £50 worth of vouchers! All winning entries are  published below!


Category: 11-13

Commended: Matthew Robertson and Tabatha Coles

Winner: Joe Day

Invasion from Mars
– Outer Space Police HQ – 11.37am
“You are relieved from your duties. In other words… YOU’RE FIRED!”
” No, no, no, Ma’am, please I’m sorry for…”
“Get the heck out of my office this instance Brad!”
Yep, this is my life now. Being screamed at for calling an alien from Mars Big Brains! I mean, come on, his brains were edging out of his skull. A bit of banter in deep space can’t hurt.
Sorry, where are my manners? I’m Brad Fire, Deep Space Sergeant.
Well, I was, now I’m a lonely civilian
from New Earth. What you don’t know what New Earth is? Well, I know that you, Anne Fine, and your wonderful panel of judges are from 2016 but you don’t know about how aliens blew up the sun and we had to live in a spaceship for 12 years until we built a new space town called New Earth! Wow, have you been living under a rock for 600 years?
– PLAY LIFE – (wish me luck)
“Miss, please, one more chance.”
” No!”
“No! No! NO!”
“Pretty please, with a cherry on top!”
“No, I’m going to shove a cherry where the sun doesn’t shine in a minute!”
“Ma’am, you know the sun doesn’t shine now!”
The room fell silent, with piercing eyes now fixed on Ma’am.
“Uh! Ok, th–
“Thank you ma’am!”
I then ran down to the door, when I was greeted by a large build of a man!
“Sgt. Brad Fire, stop there please!”
The whole room went into lockdown, Windows converted into steel bars, and the doors turned into metal. All you could here was screaming from outside.
“Sir, let me through!”
“Afraid I can’t, Mars is attacking the city, I need you to stay in here whilst we defend. Take care of ma’am.”
“I’m a Sgt, I should be out there fighting big brain Martians!”
“BRAD! What did I say about annoying outer-space beings!” Screamed ma’am!
“The WORLD is under attack, can we stop thinking about that!” I replied
I then led ma’am down the pipes of the underground city. It is deserted down there.
“We started building, but an explosion burst the water pipes, so we had to start over the top of it”
“Who are you talking to Brad, some people think you are going crazy!”
“It’s called breaking the fourth wall, ma’–“
I was rudely interrupted by the sound of a laser pistol going off, and a terrible scream from the end of the
pipe line.
“What’s happened, has someone seen a Martians face!” I chuckled to myself
“Oh please shut your mouth Brad, no need for a sarcastic attitude in war. You should be happy that I actually allowed you into the force again!”
I drew my pistol ready, pointing it into the unknown- then the unspeakable came out
-Pause life-



Category: 14-15

Winner: Daniil Galiyev

Report 4
My Queen
We came upon a great temple today. I have to say, such grandeur cannot be described with mere words. I requested an artist to paint its magnificence for your majesty. Venturing inside, we were captivated by its beauty. The tall pillars made of some unidentifiable stone were flawless. Our archaeologists say the temple is extremely aged and has been standing since before the beginning of mankind. Interestingly, an explanation about its construction contradicts that it’s from the past.
Our historians could not conceive the way the temple was built. The Royal Historian suggested to lead the expedition inside.
Your faithful servant
Sir Warton
Report 5
My Queen
We explored deeper into the temple. It seemed as though I had been there before, I knew in which direction to go. Remarkably, not even the Royal Historian argued with my decision. After what seemed like hours of walking we came upon a giant staircase, leading down. The staircase lit up as we came towards it. After a thorough inspection, we could not find any source of light whatsoever. I felt the light path beckon me, commanding me to come closer. It was only because of the archaeologists arguing that I decided to go back. It would be better to conduct the expedition alone.
Your faithful servant
Sir Warton
Report 6
I went there again. What I have seen, cannot be described. I posses infinite knowledge. The others are jealous. I can see it in them. I must protect myself at any cost.
This is the last report.
I have found it.


Category: 16-18

Commended: Rhiannon Thomas Bourne and Megan Slade

Winner: Elena Bradley

The Second Coming of the Platinum Christ
I’m integrated amongst the druids, though I’m issuing a warning that my disguise is soon to be identified. The chrome ink I retrieved from the heliotrope-x is serving well as a tint for my irises, aiding in the congruence objective you issued me with. Regrettably, the method of glazing my eyes with the mercury-fluid is slowly claiming my vision as obsolete, and even when my brown, human shade is veiled, the metallic film on my eye doesn’t fully match theirs. I still haven’t mastered the sterile numbness of the druid interactions but my synchronised swimming from the x era has proved limited blinking a tolerable ease.
I have since solved the issue we last discussed on the visibility of my femininity. The abandoned x store I reported had beneath the rubble and bones a small amount of x era black duct tape, which compensated for the high risk of being witnessed by the druid cardinals who I feel are beginning to sense a foreign presence; the air feels more silent and sub-zero than usual. I wound the tape tightly around my waist and breasts and when in the standardised black velvet cloak I appear successfully shapeless and sexless, much like one of them. They say in the texts that when the platinum christ returned the will of God ordered the desexualisation of the humans, forming the druid era; but we know this not to be true. The mass-medication of ‘platinum eucharist’ (what I believe to be a metallized form of opiate) is the real force behind the druid regime, not wilful fundamentalism; as we once thought.
The platinum eucharist is the real danger to my objective. It rains down at hourly intervals from the sky like iron-filing snow, permeating the skin and respiratory systems of the druid population, triggering enough dopamine to sustain the fundamentalist orthodoxy they live in submission to. Their skin and eyes glazed with a silvery film, the narcotic numbness seen through the slow, floating movements of the daily processions. It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the opiate snow, and harder each day to maintain the false metallic iridescence on my skin and eyes necessary to appear unnoticeably foreign, I need more instructions.