Posted by: Kathy Temean | July 25, 2017

No Fee Writing Contest

Your short story is a first-person account of the passenger seated in 14C aboard ANA Flight #008. What does this person experience as they arrive in 2037 and explore a changed world? How has emerging (or not-yet-invented) technology altered society for the better, and how does your character discover and interact with this technology?

We are hopeful for our future, and we ask that your story creatively weaves technology and culture, envisioning an optimistic and exciting future for mankind.

Your short story must be between 2,000 and 4,000 words and be submitted by August 25th, 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

Story Prompt
At 4:58 am on June 28, 2017, passengers on board ANA Flight 008 en route from Tokyo to San Francisco are cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet, approximately 1,500 nautical miles off the West Coast of the United States when the following apparently unremarkable incidents occur:

  • 26A, earbuds in, mouth open, leaning against the window, shifts in her sleep;
  • 4C, halfway through the first episode of “Westworld”, is slightly confused; and
  • 19B coughs – almost a non-cough as if simply pretending to cough.

ANA Flight 008 then passes through a temporary wrinkle in the local region of space-time, experienced inside the cabin as a barely perceptible bout of turbulence. Beverage service continues, uninterrupted. The in-flight movie glitches, and then resumes.

As the Boeing 777 descends through the clouds for its approach into SFO, only a few of the passengers (mostly in window seats) suspect they have arrived at the wrong destination. Which is incorrect, sort of. They have arrived at San Francisco International Airport…on June 28, 2037. The wrinkle has transported them 20 years into the future.

The challenge open to ages 18+ as of August 25, 2017. All countries open to participate unless otherwise prohibited by law. No entry fee is required.  Only one submission per person.

Prize Package
The winning story will be uploaded to Seat 14C on the seat map. The winner will also receive:

  • Roundtrip economy airfare to Tokyo, Japan for you and (1) guest on ANA Airlines* (ARV: $6,000)
  • 4 nights’ accommodation in a 4-Star Hotel (ARV: $1,500)
  • A check for $1,500 (ARV: $1,500)
  • GoPro Hero5 Black 4K video camera (ARV: $400)
  • ili Handheld Universal Translator (ARV: $249)
  • Membership and access to the acclaimed Science Fiction Advisory Council

*Travel must take place within 12 months of being notified, and may be presented as a voucher. Blackout dates and other restrictions may apply. If ANA does not fly the most direct route from your nearest international airport to Tokyo, XPRIZE reserves the right to make other arrangements.  All Prizes are non-transferable, non-exchangeable, and non-refundable. Winners are solely responsible for all costs not expressly described herein. The value of the prizes will be taxable to each Winner as income. All federal, state, local taxes, fees and surcharges on Prizes are the sole responsibility of the Winners

XPRIZE and ANA reserve the right to publicize the winner, including using the winner’s name and/or likeness, and all or part of the winning submission, on our website, Newsletter, social media channels, in a press release, and in other materials.

The Format
Your story should be presented from the perspective of one of the passengers on this flight, the passenger seated in Seat 14C, beginning when they step off the flight at SFO, 20 years in the future.

The Tone
The anthology is meant to show how exponential technology can positively impact the future, even as a subtle backdrop to the story. In other words, imagine a world in which all of the currently active XPRIZE competitions have been successfully awarded and are shaping the future. None of this has to be blatant – but the underlying tone should be a hopeful one.

Stories must have been previously unpublished. If selected as a winner, the story will not be able to be published elsewhere for an exclusive period of 1-year from the date it is published on as well as the non-exclusive right to republish your story on our website, in an anthology, or in any other form. Aside from this right to republish your submission, all other rights revert to the author after one year.
Your name, email, country of residence, and age verification will be required at time of submission.
Do not include your name in the attachment.  All stories will be judged anonymously.
Stories must be typed, double spaced, and in English.  If written in another language, the writer must include an English translation.

Stories must be a minimum of 2,000 and a maximum of 4,000 words.  Word count must be included in the header of the document.
Submit story in .doc, .pages, or PDF form; save file as: SEAT14C_TITLE.doc

Submissions are due by August 25 at 11:59pm PDT.

Judging Criteria
The stories will be judged based on the following criteria:
Unique Vision of the Future
Adherence to story prompt
Aligned with XPRIZE belief that exponential technology can positively impact the future
XPRIZE will narrow the selection to 3 finalists

How long can my story be?
Between 2,000 and 4,000 words

Q: What should my story be about?
Your story is a first-person account of the passenger in Seat 14C, on ANA Flight #008, as this passenger discovers they’ve mysteriously been transported 20 years into the future. How has our world changed as a result of emerging technology and innovation, and how does your character interact with this changed world?
Q: What characteristics will the winning story have?
The winning story will be an original, previously unpublished work that blends technology, creativity, and culture, all with an underlying positive and optimistic tone. Acknowledging current emerging technology trends and creating new, near-future technologies is encouraged.
Q: How do I submit my story?
Upload your story at:
Q: When is the final date for submissions?
August 25, 2017, by 11:59 pm Pacific Time.
Q: When will the winning story be announced?
The winner will be announced in September 2017.
Q: Who do I contact with additional questions?
Q: In what format should my story be submitted?
.doc, .pages, or .pdf; between 2,000 and 4,000 words; 12pt font; double spaced
Q: Can I edit my piece after submission?
Submitted stories are un-editable. Please make final changes to your story before submitting.
Q: Do I retain the rights to my story?
Rights to all stories will remain with the author. For the winning story, XPRIZE retains the worldwide rights to publish the work as part of the Seat 14C anthology, which includes a 1-year exclusivity period.
Q: Can illustrations be submitted with stories?
No, please only include text with your submission.
Q: Can I submit multiple stories?
One entry per person please.
Q: Can a story be written by more than one person?
Each story should be written by only one person.

Talk tomorrow,



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