Antibiotic resistance by pathogenic microorganisms is a major threat of our times, leading to a significant rise of serious untreatable infections, especially in hospital environments. In addition, biofilms further protect the microbes against antibiotics, detergents and the attacks of our immune system. This Halloween, we launched an exciting scary story competition, named Coccus Pocus 2019. The participants were encouraged to write a short horror sci-fi story between 500 and 2,000 words, including antimicrobial resistance and microbial biofilms. The evaluation committee that was composed of eight academics and researchers from the University of Hull and other institutions, ranked the stories according to intrigue of their plot, use of language, character description and scientific soundness. The prizes (online gift vouchers) were awarded to the three winning stories, during an awards ceremony. Feedback questionnaires were completed by the participants, which showed that they all found the competition very interesting and useful, allowing them to sharpen their creative writing skills and explore key microbiology topics. The event was communicated in the social media and blogs were posted in university bulletins and on microbiology websites. It is our ambition that the competition will be held again and again around the country, aiming to increase public awareness about the important problem of antimicrobial resistance and biofilms and boost the enthusiasm of young people about the fascinating field of microbiology.


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