ScienceFiction: MakeBelieve

A robot writing in a book with a quill pen


In our eighth year now (a short break for COVID stuff), we are again running a Scotland-wide creative writing competition for S2 pupils. We have had 73 schools participate from Aberdeen to Unst, Ayr to Fife, big schools and small schools, and an astonishing (and fantastic) range of submissions. The competition involves a 750 word creative piece about any Scottish scientist (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) alive or dead, or the impact of their discoveries or inventions. We are trying to put the Arts into STEM – STE(A)M.
The pupil could write this piece in any creative format (e.g. blog, twitter, diary etc.,) or as a straight essay taking a different perspective (e.g. as a member of the research team, as the scientist themselves, as a newspaper report etc.,). It is anticipated that teachers co-ordinating their school’s contribution would select two essays that they would submit to the competition by February 20th, 2024.

The Overall Winner for 2024 is:

Ayana Selvarajah (Hutcheson’s Grammar School) for her very inventive “Diary of an Unknown Marine Engineering Officer” concerning Victoria Drummond the first woman member of Institute of Marine Engineers.

We also have some excellent runner’s up

Faith Boal (Morrison’s Academy, Crieff)

Calum Kelly (Culloden Academy)

Lena (Sir E Scott School, Isle of Harris)

Abbi Nachankar (St John’s RC Academy)

Zoe Currie (Morrison’s Academy, Crieff)


S2 pupils in any school in Scotland, two submissions per school in electronic format. Submissions should be no more than 750 words and may include graphics or images that have appropriate permissions.


One overall winner will be selected by the judging panel and will receive a £50 voucher prize. Four runners-up will receive £25 voucher prizes each. Previous winners have had their essay published by the Royal Society of Edinburgh in their Summer Resource Magazine. All schools will receive a Certificate of Recognition for their involvement as will the two pupils whose work is submitted to the competition.

Judging Panel

The panel previously has included Dr Gavin Bowd (Modern Languages), Anna Davidson (Psychology and Neuroscience), Dr Lewis Dean (formerly of Centre for Social Learning and Cognitive Evolution), Paul Gardner (Senior Lecturer, Psychology & Neuroscience), Dr Heather McKiggan-Fee (Centre for Academic, Professional and Organisational Development), Avery McLear (Psychology and Sustainable Development), Dr Paula Miles (Senior Lecturer, Psychology & Neuroscience), Professor Niamh Nic Daéid (Professor of Forensic Science,  University of Dundee), Francesca Fotheringham (Neuroscience, St. Andrews), Pamela Forbes (Classicist), Carole Tricker and colleagues from the Byre Writers Group. We are proud to be supported by The Royal Society of Edinburgh for this competition.

Queries and Submissions