Young Statisticians Writing Competition 2015

Young Statisticians Writing Competition 2015: Write with Significance

yss writing competitionSignificance and the Young Statisticians Section of the Royal Statistical Society are once again hosting a competition to promote good writing about statistics. All budding writers within the first 10 years of their statistical career are invited to submit articles which would be suitable for Significance magazine.

The winning article will, as before, be published in Significance. In addition, three finalists will be invited to attend the 2015 Royal Statistical Society Conference in Exeter to present their work in a special session where the overall winner will be announced.

Articles should be between 1500 and 2500 words long and can include tables, figures, images and photographs. Writing style should be clear and easy to read – avoid the formal layout of an academic report – and technical terms and mathematics should be kept to a minimum, and suitably explained when used.

Anyone is welcome to enter, regardless of membership or affiliation. The only stipulation is that you should be 'young' (in career terms, not necessarily in age) – that is, you must be a student or within the first 10 years of your career. The article could be on work that you have done, or it could explain the work of others. Only submissions in English will be considered.

Some hints: we are a magazine, not a peer-reviewed journal, so people who know little or nothing about statistics read us. Write for your audience: if you can interest them in the subject, your piece will have been a success. Try not to dumb down, but avoid being over-technical: If a schoolchild, a grandmother, and everyone in between can understand it, no matter what their background knowledge, and if they can go away knowing a little more about statistics than they did before, then you should be in with a chance of winning. And if your topic is of use to the world or to society, or is just offbeat, unexpected, that will help as well. We want to show how statistics is relevant to all kinds of decisions that matter.

Manuscripts must be original and not under consideration for publication elsewhere, though we welcome magazine articles based on work in theses or in papers that have been submitted to or accepted by academic journals, provided the two are sufficiently different. All articles will be assessed by a review committee, and judges will be made up of representatives from both the Young Statisticians Section and Significance.

The winning article will be published in the October 2015 edition of Significance magazine.

Take a look at some previous winning articles:

2014 Winner – Does New York City really have as many rats as people?

2013 Winner - Breaking the deadlock on wedding guest lists

2012 Winner - What's the point of a point estimate?: Why statistics lectures confuse students

Runner-up articles will be published on the Significance website, or in Significance magazine at the editor’s discretion. As an extra incentive, last year's winner, Jonathan Auerbach, was also featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the Daily Mail, Newsweek, China Daily and Japan Times.

Please email your submissions in a text/Word file or as a PDF, to The closing date is May 30th, 2015.