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Winners announced in College short story competition

Judges Emily Winslow and Tabitha Siklos awarded the top prizes to Kate Coghlan, Ella Curry, Deborah Omolegan-Obe, and Arabella Tedder out of a record-breaking 24 entries.

The theme of this year's College short story competition was 'Sci-Fi and Futurism'. It was the fourth competition since 2020; previous years’ themes were ghost stories, love stories, and crime stories.

Contestants were invited to submit a short story (750-1500 words), set at least partly in Cambridge, which focussed on science fiction or was set in the future. 

Novelist and memoirist Emily Winslow and researcher/author Tabitha Siklos judged the competition. The number of entrants was more than double that of previous years, and the judging was blind.

Emily said: “The prizegiving evening was a lovely occasion: the announcement of winners is always secondary to pleasant conversation over drinks in the Master’s Lodge and the sharing of extracts from each entrants’ stories.

“We were particularly delighted by the breadth and quality of the entries overall, which covered hope, horror, ambition, and anxiety for the future with creativity and insight.”

One of this year’s winners, Ella Curry (2019), has entered the competition every year since its foundation. Her story Is it a crime? was also highly commended in the 2021 Crime short story competition as ‘Most Beautiful’.

Winning entries:

Best Tragic Sci-Fi Story: Echoes in the Chapel by Kate Coghlan (Staff)

Read Echoes in the Chapel

Best Heroic Sci-Fi Story: Major Moon, Astroentomologist by Ella Curry (Staff)

Read Major Moon, Astroentomologist.

Best Psychological Horror Sci-Fi Story: Feel No Evil by Deborah Omolegan-Obe (Undergraduate)

Read Feel No Evil

Best Physical Horror Sci-Fi Story: Enhanced by Arabella Tedder (Undergraduate)

Read Enhanced

Other entries:

  • Self-Contradiction by Jeremy Baumberg (Fellow)
  • No Other by Patryk Jan Bratuś (Postgraduate)
  • The Sea Child by Hannah Copley (Postgraduate)
  • Fly by Night by Alexander Ellul (Postgraduate)
  • Sylvia Atricapilla by Rachel Gardner (Postgraduate)
  • Holores by Claire Gilbert (Visiting Fellow)
  • Last Tide by Anika Goddard (Undergraduate)
  • Bliss by Bex (Rebecca) Goodchild (Undergraduate)
  • Life is Random by Leonie Lorenz (Postgraduate)
  • Looking for Shelly by Deborah Omolegan-Obe (Undergraduate)
  • Harvest by Lisa Rowe (Staff)
  • The Black Pill by Anonymous (Undergraduate)
  • Missed Me by Anonymous (Undergraduate)
  • The Museum Keeper by Anonymous (Undergraduate)
  • Photographer by Anonymous (Undergraduate)
  • The Sunrise I Missed by Anonymous (Undergraduate)

Read the judges' excerpts from these entries, or all the full entries.