About the Competitions

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Green Stories writing competitions are a series of free writing competitions across various formats to solicit stories that showcase what a sustainable society might look like. Open to all, with cash prizes and winners read by BBC.   Deadlines across 2020 (and expect more for 2021)

Why we are doing this

Research shows that that solution-based stories, or stories that smuggle in green ideas/characters in an otherwise mainstream story, are more likely to inspire greener behaviours than catastrophic tales of climate change. Thus creating a cultural body of work that presents positive visions of sustainable societies is necessary to enable a shift towards a more sustainable society.

We ask writers to check out transformative solutions and integrate them into their stories. A rom-com, for example, could be set in a sharing economy that replaces ownership with borrowing; the hero in a crime drama could use a carbon-credit card; a family drama could be set in a society where people have gardens on their roofs, use green technologies, eat insect burgers and generate energy from their own waste, and so on. We are eager to read what your imaginations can come with!

Competitions

We have already run green stories competitions for short stories, radio plays, novels, interactive fiction, TV series and stage play. The next round of competitions asks for screenplays, novels, flash fiction and QuiBI (new platform of 8-10 minute episodes). All competitions are free to enter with prizes and publication/production opportunities via BBC Writer’s Room, agents and production companies. We’d love to get sponsorship from organisations that share values of sustainability, creativity and positivity to sponsor prizes for competitions for 2021.

Contest Guidelines

All competitions are free to enter, there will be prizes and routes to production/publication.

We are looking for stories that in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society. We will consider all genres – rom-com, literary fiction, science fiction, mystery, crime etc. – but stories must engage with the idea of environmentally sustainable practices and/or sustainable societies.

Most stories set in the future are dystopian, meaning they have a pessimistic view of society. We will consider all stories, but we encourage you to imagine a more positive settings and practices for your stories. You can find out more about why we recommend positive stories by clicking here. Do feel free to draw upon the resources in this Green Stories website to write your story (found in the menu on the homepage). Each page provides links to articles/videos that describe the ideas and also ideas for how such ideas may be integrated into stories.

The story doesn’t have to be about sustainability or climate change directly. A rom-com, for example, could be set in a society that replaces ownership with borrowing and the heroine goes to a clothes library to pick up a posh dress and borrow jewellery for her big date; or the hero in a crime drama could use a carbon credit card and hear the news in the background reporting on the wellbeing index instead of GDP; or the characters in a legal drama could live in a city where everyone has gardens on their roofs and generates energy from their own waste.

The first output from our green stories short stories competition is now available to buy ‘Resurrection Trust‘ – a collection of funny, dark, mad, bad, upbeat, downbeat and fantastical short stories about living sustainably. It has a foreword by Caroline Lucas and review by Jonathon Porritt. It’s £3.99/£7.99 available on Amazon or even better use Hive which allows you to support your local bookshop. Writers may find it a useful source of ideas.

 

Competitions for 2020

Full-length film screenplay

Deadline:  18th April 2020

Length: Assuming 1 minute per page, aim for 90-120 pages.

Prizes: £750: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission.(tbc)

Opportunities for writers: BBC Writers room have agreed to read the top five scripts and follow up with any writers they think have promise.

Submit here. Send as a pdf. Also your script will get a better reception if written in a standard format e.g. see these BBC guidelines

Short film

Deadline:  tbc

Length: between 3 and 20 minutes

Prizes:  £750 (tbc): 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission.(tbc). If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless if the entry is from a student and the student prize will go to the next best student entry. (tbc – awaiting prize sponsorship confirmation)

We are looking for actual films, not screenplays. If you are a film-maker and are looking for a suitable script, see this page which has some scripts and ideas for you to start from.

Submission details available nearer the time

Flash Fiction

Deadline:  21st March 2020

Length: max 500 words (excludes title)

Prizes:  £500: 1st prize £250, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless if the entry is from a student and the student prize will go to the next best student entry. (tbc – awaiting prize sponsorship confirmation)

Submission details available nearer the time

10 minutes episodes for mobile phones via Quibi

Deadline:  23rd May 2020

Length: 3 – 15 ten minute episodes  (suitable for new platform Quibi – designed for mobile phones)

Prizes:  £750: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless if the entry is from a student and the student prize will go to the next best student entry. (tbc – awaiting prize sponsorship confirmation)

Submission details available nearer the time

We are looking for Full-Length Novels for adults that in some way touch upon ideas around building a sustainable society. If you’d prefer to create your story in a different format, click here. We will consider all genres – rom-com, literary fiction, science fiction, mystery, crime etc. – but stories must engage with the idea of environmentally sustainable practices and/or sustainable societies.

Most stories set in the future are dystopian, meaning they have a pessimistic view of society. We will consider all stories, but we encourage you to imagine a more positive settings and practices for your stories. You can find out more about why we recommend positive stories by clicking here. Do feel free to draw upon the resources in this Green Stories website to write your story (found in the menu on the homepage. Each page provides links to articles/videos that describe the ideas and also ideas for how such ideas may be integrated into stories.

The story doesn’t have to be about sustainability or climate change directly. A rom-com, for example, could be set in a society that replaces ownership with borrowing and the heroine goes to a clothes library to pick up a posh dress and borrow jewellery for her big date; or the hero in a crime drama could use a carbon credit card and hear the news in the background reporting on the wellbeing index instead of GDP; or the characters in a legal drama could live in a city where everyone has gardens on their roofs and generates energy from their own waste.

No children’s books as we expect to run a later competition for children’s stories

The first output from our green stories short stories competition is now available to buy ‘Resurrection Trust‘ – a collection of funny, dark, mad, bad, upbeat, downbeat and fantastical short stories about living sustainably. It has a foreword by Caroline Lucas and review by Jonathon Porritt. It’s £3.99/£7.99 available on Amazon or even better use Hive which allows you support your local bookshop. Writers may find it a useful source of ideas.

Full-length novel (adult) Guidelines

Deadline: 2nd June 2020 

Length: Typically novels are 50,000 – 100, 000 words. Submit 5000 –  10,000 words that must include the following:

 – the first chapter

– another chapter that best showcases how your novel meets the green stories criteria

– a third chapter (suggest the final chapter if possible)

– a one-page synopsis

You can submit more  than three chapters if you need to, in order to make up to 5,000 words.  Format is double-spaced and numbered pages.  We may then ask for the full novel from the best entries.

Prizes: £750: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, third prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best < 18 year submission. If a student or under 18 entry is the best overall then it will win first prize regardless if the entry is from a student and the student prize will go to the next best student entry.

Route to publication: We have agreement from a literary agent from the top agency Curtis Brown to read the top entries and consider any writers they think suitable for representation.