Synapse Storytelling Contest

If you have an eye for great photography or a talent for the written word, you can win part of nearly $2,000 in prizes that’s up for grabs for talented UCSF students. The Synapse Storytelling Contest invites writers and photographers to submit their best work for a chance to win a dozen prizes each valued between $50 and $250. The deadline for entry is Friday, June 29.

Contest: Synapse: UCSF Student Voices presents The Synapse Storytelling Contest. Any person who is currently enrolled as a student at the University of California, San Francisco is eligible to enter up to a total of three submissions fitting into one of four categories:

  • Science writing
  • Creative writing
  • Personal essay
  • Photography

Please review contest details below for category expectations.

Prizes: A total of 12 entries will receive gift cards of the winner’s choosing. The winning entry in each of the four categories will receive $250 in gift cards. The second place winners in each of the four categories will receive $75 in gift cards. The third place winners in each of the four categories will receive $50 in gift cards.

How to Enter and Qualify: To enter and qualify, entrants must be currently enrolled as a student at UCSF, complete and submit an online entry form and produce an original story or photograph that fit within any of the following four categories.

Judging: A committee of journalists, UCSF administrators and UCSF students affiliated with Synapse will review all submissions.

Entries will be judged in three areas:

  • Quality of information
  • Creativity in presentation
  • Impact of storytelling

Winner Notification: Winners and honorable mentions will be notified on Friday, August 10, 2018 via email. Winners will be announced to the public in the first September 2018 edition of Synapse: UCSF Student Voices.

Usage rights: By entering the contest, all entrants agree to grant Synapse the non-exclusive right to publish submissions throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, and to republish in the future as needed. Entrants retain the right to submit their work for publication elsewhere.

Communications. Any entrants with questions or comments regarding the contest should send an email with the subject line “Synapse Storytelling Contest” to [email protected].

Category expectations:

Science writing: Making science sexy. The winning submissions present the best examples of storytelling that make complex issues or ideas better understood and accessible to a wide array of people. Make it connect with others: why should they care? Word count 600 to 1,500 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Creative writing: Poetry or prose fiction. The winning submissions present the best expressions of poetic or fictionalized thoughts and/or emotions while displaying imagination and inventiveness. Word count 100 to 1,500 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Personal essay: Non-fiction, opinion or anecdote. The winning submissions present the most compelling story about something that impacted you or changed your life. Word count 600 to 1,500 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Photography: The winning submissions will show any aspect of student life — on holiday, in your work environment, on campus, things you see around the city etc. All photograph submissions must have minimum pixel dimensions of 1000 X 1000 pixels at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Submissions must include a caption with a minimum of 25 and maximum of 50 words.