Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility, is inviting the public to vote for their favourite Flash Fiction short story, as part of its Light Reading story writing competition.
Supporting Oxford’s bid to be UNESCO World Book Capital 2014, Diamond has been encouraging the nation to get creative and write short stories inspired by the synchrotron’s science output and the facility itself.
The super short Flash Fiction stories (300 words max) are now online - http://www.light-reading.org/LightReading/Flash-Fiction.html – and Diamond is inviting the public to cast their votes between now and Friday 20th January 2012. The five stories with the most votes will then be passed on to the judges, science journalist Anjana Ahuja and biologist and part-time novelist and science communicator Jenny Rohn, to decide on the winner.
Last week, to further support Oxford’s World Book Capital bid, members of Diamond staff were photographed with their all time favourite books. The diverse staff is made up of scientists and engineers from over 43 different nations, and some were photographed with books from their home country, including Lebanon, Hungary and Brazil.
Kathelene Weiss, Director of Oxford Inspires, the organisation coordinating the Oxford World Book Capital bid, says, “Oxford is about the power of ideas. It is a place with a majority of young people and institutions that encourage people’s imaginations to fly. The Diamond synchrotron is a real gem of inspiration, as can be seen from the Flash Fiction story entries. The facility is a great representation of the diverse expertise we have in the region, expertise that really helps Oxfordshire stand out. Receiving support from Diamond and its staff is, therefore, very fitting and we are really pleased to be working with them on this exciting bid.”
Light Reading was a short story writing competition open to everyone. The challenge was to write a story, in any genre, of up to 3,000 words that was in some way inspired by Diamond. All entries are now in, and Diamond is busy making an initial shortlist of the best stories to be judged by Anjana and Jenny. Winners will be announced on the dedicated website in the new year: www.light-reading.org The top three writers will receive a cash prize and these, along with those highly commended by the judges, will then be published in an anthology of short stories. The Flash Fiction category for stories under 300 words was for those with limited time or a more minimalist approach to writing.
Pictured with his all time favourite read, winner of the staff version of Light Reading, Radio Frequency Technician Matt Maddock, says, “I love Nation by Terry Pratchett because on the surface it’s a boy’s own adventure book, with pirates, shipwrecks, ghosts and gods. I had been writing long before I read this book but it certainly sets a standard to aspire to.
“It would be great if Oxford was awarded the World Book Capital 2014. Being a city with a long history of education, learning and knowledge, it seems the obvious choice.”
Diamond Light Source is used by over 3,000 academic and industrial researchers across a wide range of disciplines including structural biology, health and medicine, solid-state physics, materials & magnetism, nanoscience, electronics, earth & environmental sciences, chemistry, cultural heritage, energy and engineering.
Research at Diamond generates hundreds of research papers every year, many in leading scientific journals, and the rate of publication continues to increase as the facility expands.