FutureBook's first ever short story competition asks writers to imagine the future of the book

FutureBook's first ever short story competition asks writers to imagine the future of the book

Calling all writers!

Could you create a fresh and exciting vision of the future of the book?

For years, the FutureBook conference has been pretty bold about where it sources its ideas and insights. From entrepreneurs to rappers, game producers to music execs, we've always looked beyond the obvious when it comes to identifying the opportunities and disruptions about to hit the book trade.

But there's one group we've somewhat neglected. The people at the very heart of this industry. The people with the biggest imaginations of all. The storytellers themselves.

So for 2018, we're partnering up with social reading app The Pigeonhole to run a short story competition exploring ideas around the future of the book. The past three decades have seen extraordinary advancements in reading methods; from e-books to mobile reading, speed reading apps to audiobooks on your phone. Everyone is engaging with words in multiple ways, and yet the paper book is still going strong.

What will the next few decades bring?

We are looking for no more than 5,000 words of speculative fiction. The winning short stories could explore the future of reading, writing, publishing and bookselling – but whatever their angle, they'll present some fresh and unexpected ideas about what the future might hold for the book. We want original thinking, compelling plots and fantastic prose – and in return you will get the opportunity to share your work in front of an audience of industry insiders at the FutureBook Live conference, 2018.

Judges will be me; Anna Jean Hughes, Founder of The Pigeonhole; and Tom Hunter, Director of the Arthur C.Clarke Award for Science Fiction.

The winner will be invited to read an extract of their story before sitting on a panel hosted by Anna Jean Hughes with an agent, publisher and publicist at FutureBook Live on the 30th November. The winning story, along with four runners up, will also be published on the Pigeonhole app, and the winner will receive a full set of novels from this year’s Arthur C. Clarke shortlist.

"The way we read has changed more in 30 years than it has in the last three hundred, so I can't wait to see what writers of today will make of our books of the future," says Hughes. "It's a real treat to join forces with FutureBook, they've long been supporters of the Pigeonhole and there's no better place to read and discuss stories about the future than on our app."

Deadline for all submissions is Tuesday October 30th. Please submit your story complete with full name, email and brief biography to: anna@thepigeonhole.com.

The beginning...

Terms and conditions

  1. Short stories must be no more 5,000 words (not including the title) and written on theme of the future of reading, writing, publishing and bookselling
  2. Entries must be emailed as a word.doc or TextEdit attachment to anna@thepigeonhole.com, along with the entrant’s name and a short biography in the body of the covering email
  3. The competition is open to writers all over the world, though entrants must be 18 or over at the time of submission
  4. Entries must be written in English and only original, unpublished work will be accepted
  5. Closing date midnight 30st October 2018 and all entrants will be informed of our decision before the 19th of November
  6. The Pigeonhole will not be held responsible for any libellous material included in an entry
  7. Judges are unable to provide any feedback on submissions