The Contest Prompts

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Below is the full list of 65 prompts and story ideas available for the Open Novella Contest. Please note that you will need to write a story based on or involving one of these ideas, though you may take liberties.

Make a note of which category/genre your chosen prompt falls under and which number it is -- you will need this to submit your entry! Happy prompt hunting.


1. Body Mods: Body modifications of the technological or biological variety are the 'in' thing, the more expensive and extreme the mod the better. You want a chainsaw in place of your left forearm? Done! You want wheels with 23" rims in place of your feet? No sweat! You want rabbit ears, a fox tail, and the ability to fire lasers from your eyes? We got you covered! Because in this kind of society, surely nothing can go wrong... 

2. The Meteor: A meteor has hit Earth, and it has brought an alien virus along with it. The virus spreads like wildfire, affecting every human in its path. While the virus does nothing to victims physically, it does severely mess with their mentality, especially their moral compass. It turns people into highly sadistic animals, wanting to destroy and kill anything they see for mere enjoyment. Of course, that includes each other. 

3. Red Planet: Walking on the moon, living in a permanently manned space station... the next step in human space exploration clearly was a visit to Mars. Over 50 years of exploration, different orbiters, the rovers Opportunity and Curiosity, InSight... yet, when the first manned mission arrived on Mars, the crew soon learned the Red Planet still held secrets. 

4. Building Paradise: The planet was chosen for a human colony because it had all the important basics for terraforming: water, an almost breathable atmosphere and gravity within the survivable range. A group of scientists accompanied by a building team already left their mark in form of a habitat dome and an "all clear" for settlement. Now it was up to the first wave of colonists to build paradise. But a surprise waited for them, something the early explorers overlooked. 

5. Time Travel: An individual is somehow transported back in time and because some tropes are too wonderful to avoid, they inadvertently kill their grandfather. In a direct contradiction of everything everyone has ever been told, however, they do not cease to exist... 

6. Star System: A privately funded mission to the Tau Ceti star system goes awry and when the vessel involved crash lands on a small island in the midst of one of Tau Ceti F's vast oceans. The surviving crew members know they must do whatever it takes to survive. They think all hope is lost, but secrets held beneath the surface of the ocean have the potential to change everything...

7. Space Siren: A space captain gets pulled out of the scattered remains of his destroyed spaceship by a mysterious alien creature with a fish tail. As he travels back to his home planet, he can't stop thinking about his saviour, but could it be that the space siren was the reason for his ship's destruction in the first place?  

8. Alternate History: 40,000 years ago, warring alien races enslaved Neanderthal Man to fight in their vast armies. But now that war is over, and Neanderthal Man wants revenge.

9. Galactic Gates: Ever since the completion of the galactic gates, industry has expanded and boomed. When the gates mysteriously begin shutting down, it's up to a team of engineers to save the galaxies the gates connect. 

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