About The Competition

 

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Contest Guidelines

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

We are looking for stories (in a variety of formats: play, film, radio, book, tv) 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.

Our short story competition (deadline April 2018) has resulted in an anthology of the 20 best stories called ‘Resurrection Trust’  which will be published 20th March 2019 and available on Amazon. This may well provide some inspiration.

Please do not submit entries before March 2019. We will not have the resources to respond before then.

Formats

Stage Play

Deadline: 30th June 2019

Length: min 1 hour 15 minutes max 2 hours (typically 60-80 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.

Staging of winning play: Live Your Values production company have said they will read all top-rated scripts with a view to putting on a production in 2020 with a community based theatre group.

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

Full guidelines for playwriting competition

Radio Play Drama/Comedy series

Deadline: 12th July 2019

Length/format: choose one of three categories

  1. 45 minute drama: send whole script + 1 page synopsis
  2. 6 x 30 minute comedy series: send sample/pilot episode + 3 pages outlining remaining episodes
  3. 5 x 15 minute drama series: send the first two 15 minutes episodes and an outline of the further 3 episodes.

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..

Route to production:  BBC Writers room have agreed to read the top five scripts and follow up with any writers they think have promise. In addition, Goldhawk Productions and Whistledown Productions who both produce programmes for radio have agreed to look at top entries and consider any they believe suitable for production.

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

radio play submission form (no submissions before 1st April 2019)

 

Full-length novel

Thanks to PRME UK Chapter for sponsoring this prize

Deadline: 31st Aug 2019

Length:  This will depend on genre, normal novels are 50,000 – 100, 000 words but children’s books may be as little as 15000. Submit the first 5,000 words double-spaced and numbered pages plus a one-page synopsis.  We will then ask for the full novel from 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.

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.

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

Novel submission form (no submissions before 1st April 2019)

 

Full-length film screenplay

Deadline: Sept 2019 (exact date tbc)

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)

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

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

 

Short film

Deadline: Oct 2019 (exact date tbc)

Length: between 3 and 20 minutes

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)

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

 

TV/Netflix 6 part series

Deadline:  Nov 2019 (exact date tbc)

Length: 6 episodes of 25-30 minutes each or 45 -50 minutes each

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)

Route to production: BBC Writers room have agreed to read the top five scripts and follow up with any writers they think have promise. In addition, Red Production Company have put on some fabulous dramas such as ‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and ‘Come Home’ have agreed to read the winning script and  consider it for production.

Writing workshop: 19/20 Jan 2019. This may be helpful – register here 

 

Interactive fiction

Details: team entries allowed.

Specifications: an introduction to the story and around an hour’s play. Free software is available e.g. from Ink  or Twine. More details to follow Jan 2019.

Do feel free to draw upon the resources in this Green Stories website to write your Interactive Fiction (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. For example you could design a piece of Interactive Fiction where you aim to achieve highly on the well-being index and can do that by making use of ideas on our pages such as sustainable food,  green energygreen transport, sharing economy, etc.

Prizes:  £1000 as follows: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £200, third prize £10 plus £100 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £100 for best < 18 year submission.

Route to production: tbc

Submission

Please submit your entry and your completed submission form as an attachment via email to greenstories@soton.ac.uk. Include your name, address, telephone number and e-mail address, and whether you are a student. Also let us know where you heard about the competition. Please do not send any submissions before April 2019.

Who are we?

The competition is being run by the University of Southampton. Dr Denise Baden is Associate Professor of Business Ethics and Sustainability and has run several projects aimed at engaging people in sustainable practices. Denise is convinced, that more than anything else, creating a cultural body of work that portrays sustainable societies and solutions in a positive way is necessary to counter anxiety and inspire positive social change. Denise is joined by Carole Burns, head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and Dr Dr. Aiysha Jahan, a published writer with a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Southampton and Shirley Wardell from ‘Live your Values’ Production Company.

Judging

Stories will be judged anonymously by a team of judges:  Philip Hoare, well-known writer and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton and Leverhulme artist-in-residence at Plymouth University; Dr. Aiysha Jahan, a published writer with a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Southampton; writer Carole Burns, Head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton, and Dr. Denise Baden, Associate Professor in Sustainable Business at Southampton Business School, University of Southampton and Shirley Wardell from ‘Live your Values’ Production Company.

Prize Giving Event

Our free prize giving event for the short stories competition was on 21st June 7-8.30 pm at October Books, Southampton and you can see a video recorded that captures highlights. Prize giving events for future competitions will be organised nearer the time.