Thanks to everyone who sent in an entry for the What If contest. Knowing that it was a genre specific contest, we did not expect as many entries as we got. But as much as we were happy with the volume, we were not as impressed by the quality. A lot of the entries missed the point of our guidelines on writing a science fiction story. You must annswer the question in your premise What If by telling a complete story – a snippet of someone’s life, an outcome of a decision, etc.
Whether in prose or petry, the benefits of incorporating the five elements of a story into your writing must never be underestimated. They are Plot, Point of View, Character, Setting, and Theme. Conflict is not compulsory but it gives your story that extra oomph. Many entries did not satisfy this criteria. Some did away with all the elements completely. They were disqualified.
Another reason why so many other entries were disqualified was due to bad grammar. Please learn to use simple punctuation. Read over your work and make sure each sentence is ended with a full stop – this could be within a speech quote, outside of it, and also with sentences without any dialogue. As you read also, try to locate where commas are necessary and add them. Also mind your tenses, paragraphs, sentence structure, and thought co-ordination.
In all, about 15 entries were disqualified. 18 stories were approved and are included in the longlist.
There are two strands to this contest. In this segment, a poll has been opened and you can vote below for the public choice award winner. Feel free to share your links as well as the poll to your friends and supporters. The poll is protected from stuffing and we will also keep an eye on the voting. Each person can vote for one story, once a day, and the polls will remain open until the 15th of June.
In no particular order, these entries made it into the longlist.
What If We Could Rewrite Our Memories…
What If Travelling Into The Future Is possible
What If Cyborgs Are Employed To Tackle Terrorism
What if Nigeria lost its Identity?
What If Nigeria Has No Secrets?
What if… We could hear people’s thoughts
What if…Every woman had an implanted sexual body counter
What if Warri was a country: Warri 2052
What if it is possible bring back the dead?
What If The Cure for HIV…
What if we could switch souls?
What If Manic Schizophrenia Was Curable But At A Price?
What If Nigerians Were Being Mind Controlled By The Government?
What If The Bini Empire Had Grown Into A Great Digital Metropolis?
What If Abacha Did not Die!
What If We Could Travel Through The Ground?
What If The Human Breath Could Kill ?
What if Alien spies walked amongst us?