Canopus Award for Interstellar Writing

"Storytelling is essential to communicating and concretizing a vision. A story well told - fictional or non-fictional - pushes us to consider how, where, who and why we advance, stagnate or regress," said Dr. Jemison. "The Canopus Award invites writers and journalists to join the adventure."

The 2016 100 Year Starship (100YSS) Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing is now open for sumbissions through September 30, 2016 and October 15 for college submissions. The annual prize recognizes the finest fiction and non-fiction works that expand our understanding of the challenges, opportunities, pitfalls and rewards of interstellar space exploration.

This year's theme, "Near Steps to Interstellar," explores what steps can or must be accomplished in the next five to 10 years to ensure successful human travel beyond our solar system to another star. Achieving the capabilities for a human interstellar journey by 2021 will demand discontinuous, radical advances. It also will require incremental progress be made in our knowledge of engineering, economics, social structures, biological systems, sustainability and commitment. Finally, the reality is that the vast majority of people and their descendants will remain on Earth. So, all along the way, how will the advances we make to get to the stars be exploited and impact life on Earth, our home planet?

About the Award:

The Canopus Award's namesake is the second brightest star in the night sky. The star Canopus has occupied a central role in the human journey over millennia—from an auspicious herald of planting seasons to a major navigation star for civilizations from the Bedouins of Sinai to the Voyager probe.

The Canopus Award is a key program of 100YSS, an independent, long-term international initiative to ensure that the capabilities for human interstellar travel, beyond our solar system to another star, exist within the next 100 years. 100YSS led by former astronaut, engineer, physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Mae Jemison, together with advocates, researchers, industry experts and everyday people from all walks of life is building a global community capable of realizing this audacious journey.

2016 Award Categories

This year's Canopus Awards will be made in seven categories.

Previously Published Works

Deadline: September 30, 2016

  • Long Form Fiction (40,000 words or more)
  • Short Form Fiction (between 1,000 and 40,000 words)
  • Popular Non-Fiction between 1,000 and 40,000 words)

Original Works

Deadline: September 30, 2016

  • Original Short Form Fiction (1,000—6,000 words)
  • Original Short Form Non-fiction (1,000—6,000 words)

Original College Works —New!

Deadline: October 15, 2016

  • Original College Short Form Fiction (1,000—5,000 words)
  • Original College Short Form Non-fiction (1,000—5,000 words)

Prizes include a spectacular crystal award, cash, publication, sponsorship to 100YSS special events and programs.

100YSS is currently accepting submissions of Original Works and nominations for Previously Published Words until September 30, 2016.

For more information about award criteria, nomination, and submission, visit

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