Hearty congratulations to Will, the writer behind Lieutenant Ben Livingston of the USS Excalibur-A, who won the July & August Writing Challenge with his short story “The Genetic Engineer’s Manifesto.” The story, which was written in response to the Challenge topic “Under My Skin,” was, in the words of Ed, the writer behind Fleet Captain Diego Herrera and the winner of May & June’s Challenge, “a manifesto, and that makes it stand out from quite a few of the entries I’ve seen in this or previous competitions. … To some degree, [the speaker’s points] are quite unsettling and I think that’s part of the key to this piece’s success. It makes an argument for something that’s considered taboo in the established canon of the Star Trek future as well as our present day lives and it justifies it quite well.”
The runner-up spot went to a first time entrant, the writer behind Ensign Evan Delano of the USS Tiger-A. Of his entry, “Resignation,” I said: ” Using the resignation letter genre is a fascinating choice that pays off well in what [the story] is able to do: It’s not so much meant as a plot exposition as a declaration of character, and the tradeoff is a working one of philosophy rather than scenery.” It’s notable that in this round, both winner and runner-up chose unique structures for their entries — the aforementioned manifesto and a resignation letter from Starfleet, respectively — and the panel of judges found these choices to be most effective in crafting the best possible stories.
The next Challenge is already open, and it begs you to consider “What Will Come.” Take a look at the prompt and read through the past winner or the new entrants, but be sure to have your submission in on or before October 25th!