Want to win a bundle of Dara Ó Briain's books? Enter our competition by drawing a picture of what you think an alien might look like.


Of course, it's impossible to know what an alien would actually look like, and we suspect that any extraterrestrial life we do find will be very very small, in the form of microbes. But what if it wasn't?

With the help of Dr Arik Kershenbaum, we've come up with some zoology tips for designing your alien, based on where it will live, what it will eat and how it will move around.

Once you've thought about those things, it's time to get drawing! You can use any media – pencils, paint, computer software, alien blood... okay, not that last one.

The point is, it doesn't matter how you draw your alien, but you must share it with us on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #MyAlienForSF to enter, or you can send in a photo of your alien to reply@sciencefocus.com with MyAlienForSF in the subject line of the email.

Entries must be received by 5 January 2021.*

After that date, Dara will pick his favourite from the entries, with the winner receiving a bundle of his science books in the post.

Dara O Briain's books © Scholastic

*Terms and conditions

The Promoter is Immediate Media Company Bristol Limited. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by, or associated with, Twitter/Instagram.

The BBC Code of Conduct for competitions can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/competitioncode/ and all BBC magazines comply with the Code.

The promotion is open to all residents of the UK, including the Channel Islands, aged eight years or older, except the Promoter’s employees or contractors and anyone connected with the promotion or their direct family members. Children under 18 must have parent/guardian permission.

The closing date for entries is 5pm on 5 January 2021.

By entering the promotion, the participants agree:

  • to be bound by these terms and conditions;
  • that their surname and county of residence may be released if they win a prize; and
  • that should they win the promotion, their name and likeness may be used by the Promoter for pre-arranged promotional purposes.

Entrants should enter by using the hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, or via email. Entries received after the closing date of the promotion will not be considered.

Entrants’ personal details will be used in accordance with the Immediate Privacy Policy (www.immediatemedia.co.uk/privacy-policy).

Only one entry will be permitted per person, regardless of method of entry. Bulk entries made by third parties will not be permitted.

The winning entrant will be the entry chosen by Dara Ó Briain from all the eligible entries after the closing date. The decision as to the winner is final and no correspondence relating to the promotion will be entered into. The Promoter may share the details of the winner with the prize provider for the purposes of fulfilling/delivering the prize.

The winner will be notified within 28 days of the close of the promotion by email or via social media. If the winner cannot be contacted, or fails to respond within 28 days of such notification being sent, the Promoter reserves the right to offer the prize to a runner up, or to re-offer the prize in any future promotion.

There is no cash alternative and the prize will not be transferable. Prizes must be taken as stated and cannot be deferred. The Promoter reserves the right to substitute the prize with one of the same or greater value.

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The surname and county of residence of the winner will be available upon request by sending an SAE to BBC Science Focus competition, Eagle House, Colston Avenue, Bristol, BS1 4ST within two months of the closing date of the promotion. The Promoter will contact the winner before releasing this information and provide the winner the opportunity to object or limit the amount of information shared.

The Promoter reserves the right to amend these terms and conditions or to cancel, alter or amend the promotion at any stage, if deemed necessary in its opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of its control.

The Promoter does not accept any responsibility for lost, delayed or fraudulent entries.

The Promoter excludes liability to the full extent permitted by law for any loss, damage or injury occurring to the participant arising from his or her entry into the promotion or occurring to the winner arising from his or her acceptance of a prize.

By entering this promotion you agree to release Twitter/Instagram of any liability howsoever caused in respect of this promotion.


The promotion is subject to the laws of England.