Group-Sponsored The Ward Contest: Prison Experiment
|Mar 1, 2018
The Psychology Group welcomes you to The Ward Contest. We invite you to join us in exploring the inner-workings and characteristic differences between “inmates” and “guards.”
The Stanford Prison Experiment
On August 14, 1971, Stanford University psychology department began what was to become their famous study into the causes of prison behavior. Twenty four men were chosen from a group of volunteers, and randomly assigned to the role of “prisoner” or “guard.” The basement of the psychology department was transformed into a prison.
What followed shocked everyone. Those who were assigned guards quickly became aggressive, authoritarian and some subjected the prisoners to psychological torture. Many of the prisoners took on the role and passively accepted the abuse, whilst others tried to plan a rebellion which was promptly quashed by the guards.
The supervisor of the experiment, Philip Zimbardo, took on the role of Superintendent. He was so determined in his role and the need to protect his prison, he lost sight of ethics and allowed and even encouraged the psychological abuse to continue.
The experiment was stopped after six days when Zimbardo’s girlfriend, Christina Maslach, a graduate student at the time, forced Zimbardo to recognize that genuine suffering and abuse was taking place.
Below is a list of ten prompts. Select one as your inspiration and begin writing. Submit short stories or flash fiction of under 3,000 words in length. The title is your choice; however, your selection/prompt must be written in your submission’s “About This Work” section.
Reverse the gender, what would have happened or changed had the volunteers been female?
An account or news article written after the experiment by either a “guard” or a “prisoner,” describing their experience.
A newspaper or television interview with a “guard” or “prisoner.”
The conversation between Zimbardo and his girlfriend in which she persuades him to stop the experiment.
A scene from inside the “prison.”
A scene between a “guard” and a “prisoner” who meet unexpectedly after the experiment.
Write from the point of view of a relative visiting one of the inmates.
A first person narration from either a “prisoner” or a “guard” as the experiment spiraled out of control. (Guilt, moral dilemmas, chaotic thoughts, self-doubt, paranoia etc.)
Zimbardo’s memoirs from the experiment.
Write from the Point of View of Zimbardo (or his staff) while monitoring the experiment.
Prize money for this contest is provided by the Scribophile Writing Contest Prize Fund.
Winners have been announced! Log in to see them.
|$100 cash via PayPal
|$75 cash via PayPal
|$50 cash via PayPal
Entries must be received before March 1, 2018, 11:59 PM, UTC.
Winners will be announce by (or before) April 1, 2018.
Short stories/flash-fiction only. Chapters, screen-plays, and poetry will not be considered.
Entries must be 3,000 words or less by Scribophile’s count.
Only one entry per member, please. Multiple entries will all be disqualified.
Work must have Public visibility on Scribophile until winners are announced.
Entries will be judged by a three judge panel. Decisions are final.
To enter the contest, post your work on Scribophile and check the box that says “Enter this work into Group-Sponsored The Ward Contest: Prison Experiment.” Your work will automatically be considered. The check box will be visible until the contest deadline, which is in UTC time.
Entry is free, but you’ll need karma points to post your work. You can earn karma points by writing critiques of other members work.
If you have placed in a contest in the past with a particular piece, you may not resubmit that piece in other contests.