ARC to host first Annual Sci-Fiction writing contest


Paul Francios discussing the upcoming sci-fi writing contest with Phil Smith in the Librabry on October 18, 2016. (James Saling)

Jared Smith

The details of the American River College first annual Science Fiction Writing Contest were discussed at a college hour held in the Library today.

The first prize will be given $200 and will be considered, along with runners up, to be published in the American River Review. Students may submit up to three stories, which may be a screenplay, a short story or a graphic short.

The main theme that must be discussed in the work submitted is the theme of sentience.
A being that evolves within machine intelligence, but is not programmed to do so.

“What happens if a machine developed consciousness independent of its creator,” said Bob Lyman, ARC english professor.

Lyman included that writer’s can’t just write about artificial intelligence as that is not what the theme is. Instead, writers were asked to write about a being that is created, but develops it’s own conscious.

The contest will not consider previously published work, nor will they take any submissions that are over 20 pages long. They would prefer the stories be at a 3000 word count and 12 pages or less.

Lyman also said that you want to make sure that your characters are believable, and don’t homage other authors. Write something that brings something new to the table.

Professor Michael Spurgeon, adviser for the American River Review, said stories that make it into the magazine will have internal conflict that we all face, and stories that reimagine the genre which it is in.

Once students have written their story, or stories, you fill out a form which can be found on the bulletin boards around campus, or on Bob Lymans’ website.

The contest submission deadline is Feb. 3, 2017.

The winner and runner-ups should be known by April 1, 2017.

If you have any questions about the contest, contact ARC professor Bob Lyman at [email protected], or ARC professor, Phil Smith, at [email protected].