Writing Competition

December 12, 2016

The Dialogue Between Science & Religion

Science and religion, despite their rich, interwoven history, are too often portrayed as opposites in nearly every way. As part of a larger effort* to facilitate dialogue between these two ways of knowing the world, Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology are seeking original narratives illustrating and exploring the relationships, tensions, and harmonies between science and religion—the ways these two forces productively challenge each other as well as the ways in which they can work together and strengthen one another.

We welcome personal stories of scientists, religious figures, or (just as important) everyday people seeking to explore or reconcile their own spiritual and scientific beliefs. We also welcome research-based narratives about historical moments in scientific and/or religious discovery; stories by or about contemporary scientists wrestling with the ethical quandaries their work entails; or essays by religious, legal, humanistic, or other experts who have encountered interesting and revealing instances of science-religion dialogue and harmonies. Above all, we are looking for narratives—true stories, rich with scene, character, detail, and a distinctive voice—that provide a nuanced, thoughtful consideration of the complex interplay and unexplored interdependencies and synergies between science and religion.

Please note that while our interests are broad and inclusive, narratives should focus strongly on science and religion. We discourage submissions that focus on secondary issues such as bioethics; ecology, the environment, and sustainability; and pseudoscience.

Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology editors will award two prizes—a best essay prize of $10,000, and a $5,000 runner-up prize—and up to five honorable mentions, each with a $500 prize. The two winning essays will be published in the fall 2017 issues of both magazines; honorable mentions will also be considered for publication in one or both magazines and/or online. The best essay winner and runner-up will also win a trip to Washington, D.C. where they will be honored at our publication launch event in 2017.


Essays must be previously unpublished and no longer than 5,000 words. There is a $20 reading fee. You can also submit and become a subscriber, extend your subscription, or give a gift subscription by submitting $25 to include a 4-issue subscription to Creative Nonfiction (US addresses only). Multiple entries are welcome ($20/essay) as are entries from outside the United States (though due to shipping costs we cannot offer the subscription deal). The reading fee is waived for current subscribers, if you are a current subscriber, you may submit here.

A note about fact-checking: Essays accepted for publication in Creative Nonfiction undergo a rigorous fact-checking process. To the extent your essay draws on research and/or reportage (and it should, at least to some degree), editors will ask you to send documentation of your sources and to help with the fact-checking process. We do not require that citations be submitted with essays, but you may find it helpful to keep a file of your essay that includes footnotes and/or a bibliography.

To Submit Online:

Deadline to upload files: 11:59 pm Eastern Time, Monday, December 12, 2016.

Upload submissions here >>

Current Creative Nonfiction subscribers, upload submissions here >> OR upload and renew your subscription here >>

To Submit via Regular Mail:

Send a hard copy of your essay, plus a cover letter and reading fee. Postmark deadline Monday, December 12, 2016

Attn: Science & Religion
c/o Creative Nonfiction
5119 Coral Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

*TWP Science & Religion is a project of Arizona State University’s Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, in collaboration with Creative Nonfiction and Issues in Science and Technology magazines. TWP Science & Religion is made possible through a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.