Writing the Future: 2019

Security Futures Short Story Competition: 2012 - #SecFutStory1

The Challenge

You have to write a story of no more that 1500 words on the future in 2019. These stories should be inspired by our key security futures themes:

  • Borders
  • Cities
  • Conflict Zones

The entries will be judged by a panel of writers and technologists both from the university and beyond. We will be looking for innovative and thought provoking speculations on a world that is enduring rapid and disruptive social and technological change. The type of work being developed by writers such as Cory Doctorow and William Gibson in their speculative fiction on technology and culture should give an idea of what we are looking for.


Submissions should be emailed to Dr Mark Lacy in PDF electronic format. Submission will close at 5pm on the 5th July 2013. No submission will be accepted after this time. By submitting your work, you agree to the terms and conditions as outlined below.

The Reward

The winner will be awarded a technological prize to the value of £200 and the runner up will receive a prize worth £50. We can't tell you what the prizes are just yet as the world is changing so fast we don't want to get something that will be obsolete by the time you win! The prizes will be announced on the 1st August 2013.

All sumbissions that pass a minimum criteria as set by the judges will be published in a Security Futures collection of short stories which will be published online.


Dr Mark Lacy - Head Judge

Mark Lacy

Mark Lacy is an associate director of SecurityLancaster, leading the SecurityFutures stream. I hold a PHD in International Relations (University of Sussex, UK, 2001). Prior to my work on SecurityLancaster I was part of a team that set up an inter-disciplinary theme year in our Institute of Advanced Studies on New Sciences of Protection: Designing Safe Living' (2007-2008). New Sciences of Protection brought together designers, technologists and social sciences to collaborate in various ways on emerging security problems and their social, economic and political impacts. The SecurityFutures stream of the centre is a space where we can create dialogue and collaboration on the future of cybersecurity in an age of 'digital geopolitics,' bringing together people from business, academia and the protection industries to create new perspectives on security and global politics.

 Mr Tom Cheesewright

Tom Cheesewright

Tom Cheesewright is a technology consultant, commentator and entrepreneur. He appears across the BBC reviewing gadgets and apps, advising consumers, and giving opinion on the major tech stories of the day. For commercial clients Tom speaks and runs workshops on future trends and their impact on business and society, and provides original content for customer campaigns. Tom is the co-founder of venture-backed web personalisation start-up CANDDi and blogs about the future at Book of the Future.

 Ms Leanne Salisbury

Leanne Salisbury

Leanne Salisbury is a Security & Intelligence Consultant who held a key role in the London 2012 Olympic Games for the security of the Olympic Park ICT system. Formerly a Royal Air Force Intelligence analyst, Leanne also has expertise in Geopolitical Risk, Travel Security and Incident Management.


Terms and Conditions


  • Benefits means any Intellectual Property generated by a Participant through participation in the Competition from that point in time forward
  • Competition means Security Futures Short Story Competition 2012
  • University means the University of Lancaster incorporated by royal charter RC ######
  • Organisers means the Security Futures theme of Security Lancaster on behalf of the University
  • Participant means a student resgistered on a course at Lancaster University at the time of submission.
  1. The Competition is run by the Organisers.
  2. The Competition is open to entries from students on any degree programme operated by the University.
  3. All members of a Group agree that each member has an equal stake in any Benefits.
  4. Entries may be submitted into the Competition by way of email to the official address m.lacy@lancaster.ac.uk.
  5. Each entry submitted for final assessment must be entirely the Participant's own work. If irregularities are found then the Organisers will deem the Entry ineligible. The decision of the Organisers on this shall be final. No correspondence shall be entered into.
  6. The Participant shall accept that the Organisers have the right to publish their entry to the competition
  7. The Participant shall retain all other rights to the benefits of their work.
  8. Only one prize will be awarded per participant. No correspondence shall be entered into.
  9. The Organisers reserve the right to discard any Entries that are obscene, unethical, defamatory or in any way contravene any law and decision of the Organisers on this shall be final. No correspondence shall be entered into.
  10. Prizes will be awarded to Participants who have submitted entries that successful complete the Competition as adjudicated by the judging panel.
  11. The Organisers reserve the right to change the closing date of the Competition.
  12. Activities of each Participant will be monitored and if irregularities are found, then the Participant will become ineligible. The decision of the Organisers on this shall be final. No correspondence shall be entered into.
  13. The Organisers accept no responsibility for technical issues resulting in Entries not being received.
  14. A list of winners will be displayed on the winners page of the official Competition website.
  15. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of final assessment.
  16. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or credit alternative is available.
  17. The decision of the Organisers is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  18. Some personal details of Participants are required to operate the Competition and to issue notifications during the Competition. Please see the Privacy Statement of the University for more information on use of personal data
  19. The Organisers may use details of the Participant in promotional material associated with the Competition.
  20. Every Participant agrees that any photographs, audio and video captured during the course of the Competition may be freely used in any publications or publicity relating to the Organisers' activities.