If you are a UCSF student with a talent for the written word or an eye for great photography, you can win some $2,000 in prizes by entering the Synapse Storytelling Contest. 

We invite writers and photographers at UCSF 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, July 12, 2024.

Check out last year's entries at here.

 

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 an unlimited number of submissions in four categories:

  • Nonfiction
  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • Photography

Please review contest details below.

Prizes 

Judges award prizes to the top three entries in each of the four categories. First place winners receive a $250 gift card. Second place winners receive a $75 gift card. Third place winners receive a $50 gift card.

Additionally, each non-winning submission that is published on the Synapse website and newsletter through the 2024-2025 academic year receives a $25 gift card. 

Judging

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

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 poem, story or photograph with extended caption.

Entries will be judged in three areas 
  • Quality
  • Creativity
  • Impact
Winner Notification

Winners and honorable mentions will be notified on Monday, August 16, 2024 via email. Winners will be announced to the public in the first September 2024 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 2024-2025 academic year, and to republish in the future as needed. Entrants retain the right to submit their work for publication elsewhere.

Any entrants with questions or comments regarding the contest should send an email with the subject line “Synapse Storytelling Contest” to synapse@ucsf.edu.

Category expectations

Nonfiction: The winning submissions deliver a compelling narrative revealing true subject matter. You might ponder philosophical questions, weigh in on political matters, report on scientific studies, offer a personal narrative, or tell a historical, biographical, instructional, or humorous story. Word count 600 to 2,000 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Fiction: The winning submissions present fictionalized stories with imagination and inventiveness conveying a deeper message about the human condition. It can be humorous, mythmaking, a fairytale, or a fictionalized personal story. Word count 600 to 2,000 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Poetry: The winning submissions combine aesthetic, rhythmic, and symbolic qualities of language to evoke emotion, revelation, insight, and understanding of eternal truths. Make it connect with the reader. Word count 100 to 1,000 submitted in a Microsoft Word file.

Photography: Submissions will only be accepted with the mandatory photo caption of 100 words minimum. The winning submissions will reveal any aspect of the student — on holiday, a work environment, on campus, things seen around the city, personal life, artistic creativity, etc. Submissions must have minimum pixel dimensions of 1000 X 1000 pixels at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. 

One file only. 100 MB limit. Allowed types: txt, pdf, doc, docx, ppt, pptx.

Enter written submission OR 100-word photo caption here.

By submitting this entry, I grant Synapse the right to publish my work, I agree to abide by the Synapse Storytelling Official Rules, I guarantee that my content is original work by me, and that I am an enrolled student at UCSF.

One file only. 100 MB limit. Allowed types: jpg, png.

Enter photo submission here.

By submitting this entry, I grant Synapse the right to publish my work, I agree to abide by the Synapse Storytelling Official Rules, I guarantee that my content is original work by me, and that I am an enrolled student at UCSF.