by Helen De Cruz
UPDATE (April 1, 2017):
We received a very large number of submissions (704 eligible entries) and given that our judges and readers are a small team, we will need a bit longer to make a decision. We will announce a winner by the end of April 2017.
The Philosophy Through Fiction Short Story Competition will close on February 1, 2017.
A brief update on the competition: we have received 280 eligible submissions so far (eligible submission are those that follow the formal requirements of word count, food for thought section etc.), from all over the world. Authors come from the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Nigeria, Egypt, The Netherlands, United Arabic Emirates, South Korea, South Africa, Ecuador, and many more places.
As I mentioned in an interview with the APA blog last year, there are two reasons for why I think philosophers should give fiction a try. First, the form of fiction–length, emotional involvement, and narrative–can help us address philosophical questions that are not easily dealt with in the usual academic formats of journal articles and nonfiction monographs. Fiction can expand the scope of our philosophical toolkit. Second, the professionalization of philosophy has led to some unfortunate consequences, some of which include a narrowing of what is deemed philosophically interesting. Please do consider submitting before the deadline! More details about the competition can be found here.
If you have always wanted to write fiction but lack the experience, consider applying for my Fiction Writing for Philosophers workshop, which will take place in Oxford on June 1-2, 2017. The deadline to apply is February 15, 2017. This workshop will not only feature talks about writing fiction and philosophy, but also hands-on mentoring sessions where you will receive feedback by experienced writers on your writing sample. The workshop is intended for philosophers who already have substantial experience in academic writing, but less experience in fiction writing. Instructions on how to apply can be found here.
Helen De Cruz is a senior lecturer (associate professor) in philosophy at Oxford Brookes University. She is co-author of A natural history of natural theology (MIT Press) and has written numerous papers in edited volumes and journals in the philosophy of cognitive science. The philosophy through fiction short story competition is sponsored by the APA Berry Fund.