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Deep Dive

Celebrate Shark Week by writing a short fiction story including a shark.

Supported By Untamed Photographer

Prizes

First place:
$2,500
Second place:
$1,000
Third place:
$500

First place prize will be matched as a $2,500 donation in your name to Field School, dedicated to getting aspiring marine biologists in-the-field experience.

Status

Closed

Timeline

Submissions opened

Jul 06, 2021

Submissions closed

Jul 31, 2021 3:59 AM CUT

Results

Aug 10, 2021

Prizes

First place:
$2,500
Second place:
$1,000
Third place:
$500

First place prize will be matched as a $2,500 donation in your name to Field School, dedicated to getting aspiring marine biologists in-the-field experience.

Status

Closed

Timeline

Submissions opened

Jul 06, 2021

Submissions closed

Jul 31, 2021 3:59 AM CUT

Results

Aug 10, 2021

About this challenge

They’re some of the biggest fish in the sea: the shark. For as long as our planet has existed, these majestic creatures have played an important role in preserving the delicate balance of our earthly ecosystems. And, although popular media has taught us to fear them, the truth is that we are a greater threat to their survival than they are to ours. Each year we capture too many sharks through targeted fisheries or accidental catch in other fisheries - so much so that scientists now generally consider great whites and hammerheads to be vulnerable to extinction.

So, for this Challenge we want to acknowledge their contributions to keeping our oceans alive. Enter the Deep Dive Challenge by writing a short creative fiction piece, no longer than 2,000 words, including a shark. Whether it's an integral part of your story or just a brief detail, it's the only requirement your story must include. Your narrative could involve spotting a great white as you sail through the Atlantic, or it can take place under water in the magical city of Atlantis—maybe a hammerhead appears in your main character's dream, or in the unique tattoo of a stranger. The details are entirely up to you! We can’t wait to read your exciting stories.

To celebrate Shark Week, Untamed Photographer is offering 20% off select prints featuring these mysterious, misunderstood predators. Use code SHARK20 at checkout on Filipe DeAndrade's "Apex in Motion" or Brian Moghari's "Misunderstood Predators." Profits from print sales are given to environmental causes.

Judges

Dr. Catherine Macdonald received her PhD from the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami. Her research interests include the biology and ecology of sharks and rays, human-wildlife conflict, and the impacts of wildlife tourism. We recommend you don’t ask her questions about any of those topics unless you’ve got a lot of time to spare. From 2011-2016, she was the Intern Coordinator for the University of Miami's Shark Research and Conservation Program, where she discovered teaching and mentoring was the work she loved most. In addition to teaching at Field School, Catherine is also a Lecturer at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Science, where she teaches courses on Marine Conservation Biology and Marine Tourism.

Dr. Julia Wester received her PhD from the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami in 2016. She studies the psychology of decision-making about the environment, and the role of social norms and emotion in environmental decisions and policies. She’s pretty psyched to be a social scientist who gets to spend most of her time on a boat. She received a Msc with Distinction in Biodiversity Conservation and Management from Oxford University and worked as a Legislative Aide focusing on South Florida environmental policy before going back to school for her PhD. She is a professor at the Abess Center at the University of Miami, where she teaches environmental policy.

How to enter

For your story to be eligible, it should be between 600 and 2,000 words and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Stories published on Vocal and entered into the contest up until July 30, 2021, at 11:59 PM EST will be entered for consideration. Official Rules for the Challenge can be found here.

The Deep Dive Challenge is exclusive to Vocal+ members. To learn more and upgrade to Vocal+ visit https://vocal.media/vocal-plus.

To be eligible to win the grand prize, second place, or third place prizes, you must be over the age of 13 and residing in a country where Stripe is available at the time of entry. A complete list of countries where Stripe is available can be found here—winners will need to have a Stripe account created and connected in order to receive the prizes. For this reason, entrants located outside of any of these countries will not be eligible to win.

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