Our theme emerged from the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein. It is the story of a young scientist, Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unusual experiment.
Chemistry is the study of the composition, behaviour and properties of matter, and of the elements of the earth and its atmosphere. As such, it is broad in scope and we hope it will spark your creativity.
Below are some suggested interpretations of our theme, but the possibilities are limitless. And remember, the Creative Future Literary Award judges are looking forward to reading poetry and prose in all genres.
The chemistry of relationships
We often hear people talk of chemistry in human relationships, perhaps most commonly in romantic entanglements, though certainly not exclusively.
Chemistry between people can be explosive – both positive and negative. And like ions in our atmosphere the push and pull charge has serious consequences.
Have you ever met someone for whom you felt an irresistible pull, regardless of whether or not they were ‘good’ for you? Or a polar opposite experience? Imagine two characters, who are repelled by each other, trapped in a broken lift in a deserted car park? Or how about the draw of the illicit relationship – the prisoner and probation officer, the troubled teens, the inhabitants of a run-down care home?
The everyday chemistry of life
You don’t need to be scientific to recognise that chemistry infuses our everyday life: the food we cook, the petrol in our cars, the air we breathe, the drugs we take to shift a headache. Try writing about a pharmacist, a chef under pressure in a top hotel, a contestant in a MasterChef-type TV show, a garage attendant who dreams of life in space.
Solids, liquids and gases change from one state to another. Can you think of times when someone – or something – has shifted dramatically from one state to another? Perhaps a child watches a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis, or a daughter watches a parent descend into dementia.
However you interpret this year’s theme, we hope you enjoy the writing process and we look forward to reading your work.