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String Theory


Have you ever sat down and wondered how the most influential, artistic yet iconic creations did come about initially? Why will anyone ever think of a man crawling on walls? How did he convince the world that Spiderman is a hero and not a parasite? Because, Spiderman can be alien to the world but Peter Parker is right down the street.

For a Spiderman to happen, a Peter Parker was needed. For a Peter Parker to happen, a Stan Lee was needed. For Stan Lee to get inspired, a Shakespeare was needed. To create such characters, there were always inspirations or silent sparks. Listen to this Andrew Stanton’s Ted talk called “The clues to a great story” to know more about great story telling.

When Isaac Asimov coined the word “Robotics” for the first time in his sci-fi short story “Liar!” he thought he was using a term which already existed. To be honest, yeah it had already existed, not in the world but in his mind. He took his fascination for robots and created his own universe.

In the Last few decades, the most audacious thoughts have been made into a reality. If you think you have it in you to use your ideas and imagination to make a story, then we invite you to take a look at the timeline of emerging science and technology circle. This timeline was created by Richard Watson and Alex Ayad. They took five science fields to explore and extrapolate their future in the next few decades. To get a clear idea about how the chart works, please click this link.

The future growth of these five fields will result in extreme abundance. In a world fighting for scarce resources, what will happen when we reach the other extreme? If you had taken a clear look at the chart, you’ll find that the chart has 3 concentric circles namely Present, Probable and Possible. We want you to weave a tale through which you can make us re-consider our Present, re-invigorate our plans (Probable) and re-juvenate our lives (Possible). Here is a chance for you to think beyond infinity and write a story with an outstanding idea. The world is ready for the next Stan Lee. Are you ready?

Prizes worth INR 18000

Date: 4th March 2018

Time: 2PM to 4:30PM

Venue: Orion G3



The competition is divided into two rounds. The first round will be an online round. Participants are required to base their story on any three of inventions/technologies indicated on the timeline chart accessible through the link provided.

They are then to write a synopsis of a short story for each of the three inventions/technologies selected and conforming to three different genres. By genres, we mean themes and sub themes. For example, thriller can be one theme while mystery can be the other. These are to be sent to the contact information given. Candidates are then shortlisted based on synopses submitted.

Shortlisted candidates proceed to round two, which will be offline and take place during Pragyan. They will be asked to write a short story on a selected synopsis, which will be judged for the grand prize.

The  entries are to be submitted on or before 10th February 2018 to stringtheory@pragyan.org along with the chosen set of inventions/technologies.

The participants must include their name, registered email ID, college name and phone number in the header of their document.




Synopsis and short stories will be judged based on the versatility and inventiveness they exhibit. They must have an awe-inducing aura and should be based on a vision for the future. If your story has an idea that has never been heard of before, brownie points will be given.


  • Participants are encouraged to not be limited by anything, especially the laws of physics!

  • They are encouraged to incorporate wacky and unexpected themes to generate the X factor for the story, all while making the story acceptable.

  • It is important ensure the originality of the story. Plagiarism is strictly prohibited.


1) How many entries can one submit?

Only one entry (having three synopses) is permitted per participant.

2) Is there any registration fee?

No, there is no registration fee. But you should have registered on the Pragyan website and must possess a registered email address.

3) In what file format should the story be submitted? What other details must be added?

The story must be submitted as a word document (.doc or .docx). 
You must write your name, registered 
email address, college name and contact number in the header of the word document containing your story.

4) How do I submit my story?

You should mail your story (as a word document) to the following email address, from your registered email address.
Email ID: stringtheory@pragyan.org

5) On what grounds is my entry liable to disqualification?

The entry can be disqualified on any of the following grounds:

a. If the synopses are much longer than the word limit.

b. If you have not mentioned your name, registered email ID, college name and contact number in the header of the word document containing your story.

c. If you send your entry after the deadline, 7th February 2018.

d. If the synopses are found to be plagiarized.

6) Should I come to the NITT campus to participate in this event?

If you are shortlisted from the preliminary round, then it is mandatory that you appear in person to participate in the final round.

7) How many will be chosen as the winners for the event?

The best three writers will be chosen as the winners.

8) How and when will the winners be notified?

The results will be declared one week after the deadline for submission, and the winners will be intimated via email and SMS.

9) How are the winners awarded?

The winners will be awarded a certificate of appreciation, along with cash prizes. Moreover, their stories will be published during Pragyan’18. The stories will also be published in some magazines, the details of which will be notified to the winners. 

10) Is there any participation certificate? 

No. Only the winners are awarded a certificate of appreciation.

11) How important is it to use the timeline chart?

It is very important to use the fields mentioned in the timeline chart. Stories sent without using them will be rejected.

12) If I get shortlisted, will I be allowed to write a new story altogether?

No, you are not allowed. You will be asked to build from one of the synopses. Don’t worry, we will be choosing the best out of the three. If all the 3 synopses are very good, then we will take your feedback as well.

13) Can we select the synopsis which we want to build on?

No, participants will have to build on the synopsis which we select. We will be choosing the best of all 3 synopses.

14) On what criteria will the shortlisting be based on?

Participants will be shortlisted if they have at least two synopses that impress us. We will choose the best out of all the entries which impressed us.

14) Although it is a Sci-fi writing contest, do you still expect logical explanation to scientific creations mentioned in the story?

You are the author, it’s your story. So you decide.

15) Isn’t science fiction itself a genre? Then how can I move to different genres?

Yes, Sci-fi is a genre in itself. By mentioning different genres, what we expect is the stories to have different themes and sub genres. We are not expecting 3 synopses with thriller backdrop. Instead what we want is one with a mystery or a thriller or romance etc.

16) Why is SPI Cinemas doing a writing event?

It is very simple. Good stories keep our business going. We are always in search for stories which are futuristic. Brownie points to you if your story/synopsis has a vision for cinema/movie watching experience.


  • Plagiarism is strictly prohibited.

  • The decision of the judges is final and binding.

  • Submitted stories should be fundamentally based on the element of science fiction.

  • It must use one of the five techs mentioned on the timeline chart.

  • Participants are required to write 3 synopses of 3 different stories using the different fields from the timeline chart. All three synopses should be of different genres.

  • Each synopsis should be of 250 words. [Preliminary Round]

  • The short story must be over 2000 words. [Final Round]

          The synopses need to be submitted by 7th February 2018.


Preeti: 9445402126

Priya: 9445640169

Or email us at: stringtheory@pragyan.org

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