Deadline: September 12, 2022

About the competition

When we think about the security of data on our phones and computers, we might think about passwords and permissions, or about data encryption – but we rarely think about what our data looks like, or what it does as it moves around hidden inside our phones, computers, digital devices, our apps and networks. This secret life of data – the traces, bits, and fragments of personal information that we leave behind us online – is the focus of this short story competition.

We are looking for creative stories that bring to life the secret life of data – perhaps imagining this life as a journey, a quest, a romance, or a tragedy; thinking of a computer’s internal architecture as a house, a jungle, a zoo, or a city; and the data as characters facing danger in the form of various digital threats and vulnerabilities.

This competition is part of the Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Futures programme delivered by the ESRC funded Discribe Hub+. Shortlisted stories will be published in a Secret Life of Data Anthology and will help the DSbD research community think more creatively about the movement of data through new computer chip architectures.

Visit Digital Security by Design (DSbD) to find out more about the technology that is being developed as part of the programme.

Competition guidelines

  • Entries must be made in Word doc. or pdf. format and submitted via email to: [email protected]
  • The maximum length of submissions is 4,000 words (this does not include the title), and there is no minimum length.
  • Stories can be written in any style and can be based on any genre (eg. Myth, Mystery, Crime, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Romance, YA, Children’s, etc.).
  • Closing date for receipt of entries is 9am (BST) Monday 12th September.
  • The Secret Life of Data Short Story Competition is open to all published and unpublished writers. You do not have to be affiliated with the University of Bristol to enter. There is no geographical restriction on entry – the Secret Life of Data Short Story Competition is open to everyone, whether they are based in the UK or outside the UK.
  • Enter the competition and read the whole guidelines here.
VoW Research
Author: VoW Research

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