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CQT launches international flash fiction competition "Quantum Shorts"

The competition for quantum-inspired short stories runs with partners including Scientific American, Nature Futures, Tor Books and leading research centres around the world

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16 September

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The Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) at the National University of Singapore announces the launch of the 2015 Quantum Shorts competition. The contest encourages readers to create quantum-themed "flash fiction": a short story of no more than 1000 words that is inspired by quantum physics.

The contest is run with Scientific American, the longest continuously published magazine in the U.S., Nature, the world's leading multidisciplinary science journal, and Tor Books, the leading science fiction and fantasy publisher, as media partners. Entries can be submitted now through 11:59:59 PM ET on December 1, 2015 at http://shorts.quantumlah.org.

"Quantum physics seems to inspire creative minds, so we can't wait to see what this year's contest will bring," says Scientific American Editor in Chief and competition judge Mariette DiChristina.

A panel of judges will select the winners and runner-ups in two categories: Open and Youth. The public will also vote and decide the People's Choice Prize from entries shortlisted across both categories. Winners will receive a trophy, a cash prize and a one-year digital subscription to ScientificAmerican.com. The winner of the Open category will also be featured on ScientificAmerican.com.

The quantum world offers lots of scope for enthralling characters and mind-blowing plot twists, according to Artur Ekert, CQT's Director and co-inventor of quantum cryptography. "A writer has plenty to play with when science allows things to be in two places – or even two universes – at once," he says. "The result might be funny, tense or even confusing. But it certainly won't be boring." Artur is one of the Open category judges.

Another judge is Colin Sullivan, editor of Futures, Nature's own science-themed fiction strand. "Science fiction is a powerful and innovative genre," Colin says. "We are excited to see what kinds of stories quantum physics can inspire."

The 2015 Quantum Shorts contest is also supported by scientific partners around the world. The scientific partners are the Centre for Engineered Quantum Systems, an Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence, the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo, the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at Caltech and the Joint Quantum Institute, a research partnership between University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Submissions to Quantum Shorts 2015 are limited to 1000 words and can be entered into the Quantum Shorts competition via the website at http://shorts.quantumlah.org, which also features a full set of rules and guidelines.

For more information about the organiser and partners, please visit the competition website at http://shorts.quantumlah.org