The Insufficient Credit Award

This Patreon funded award about the worth of a person is due Sunday 26 November 2017.



The Prisoner | Nick Lachmund
Emotional Intelligence | Jeanette Stampone
Shaking Off the Prime | S. Beaton
A Change In Circumstance | C.R. Gardner
Circumversio | Shun-Wei Fúxi
Death by Numbers | Mohammad Hasan

Writing Prompt

As we press forward with new, more powerful technologies, governments and Industries are increasingly looking to track and assign the worth of people.

A credit score seems just the beginning. How productive are you? What about your long term health? Got any hereditary illnesses? These conditions already determine your social worth to some extent. What if,someday soon, you truly are nothing without a number?

This is the future we are asking you to envision. Be it on the cusp or deep into dystopia, create a story that deals with a character caught in this trap. Perhaps they have:

  • Always had a low score but aspire to something greater
  • Are trying to protect or ‘uplift’ someone
  • Have seen their score plummet and don’t know what to do
  • …The choice is yours.

Good luck!


These stories should edge towards Sci Fi, but they needed be highly technological.

Word Count

Up to 750 words. No minimum limit.

Due Date

Due Sunday 26th November 2017


You must be a Patron of Needle In The Hay. Find out more here.


  • First prize receives 5000 words feedback from NiTH team on a story or manuscript of your choosing.
  • All entries receive feedback from judges by request.
  • All shortlisted authors receive an equal share of our Patreon prize pool for that award.

Entry Format



A cover image is no longer a prerequisite, but we still love them. All cover images must be in 4:3 format landscape (not portrait). Most photo editing programs give you that option. If you’re using your phone, try the Snapseed app, it has lots of cool features as well. Another recommendation is Pixlr.

If including a cover image, ensure that you own the rights to that image or that you have permission, or that the image carries a free license. Make the filename of the image the name of your story and include a backlink to the source in the body text at the bottom of your story.

Also include:

In the body text:

  • Title
  • Author name
  • Award name
  • Patreon name

(Optional) Intro – 150 characters

You can submit your story here

Having problems submitting? Contact Us!