Submit to 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.

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 Jonathan Porritt. It’s £3.99/£7.99 available on Amazon or even better https://www.hive.co.uk/ which allows you support your local bookshop. Writers may find it a useful source of ideas.

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. 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.

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.

Submit here.  Send as a pdf. Also your play will get a better reception if written in a standard format e.g. see https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/stageus.pdf

 

Full guidelines for playwriting competition

Radio Play Drama/Comedy series

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 (these should be ready as we will ask for them if shortlisted).
  3. 5 x 15 minute drama series: send the first two 15 minutes episodes and an outline of the further 3 episodes (these should be ready as we will ask for them if shortlisted).

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 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.

Submit here. Send as a pdf. Also your script will get a better reception if written in a standard format e.g. see http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/bbcradioscene.pdf

 

Full-length novel

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. 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.

Submit here.  Send as a pdf

 

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.

Submit here. Send as a pdf. Also your script will get a better reception if written in a standard format e.g. see https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/screenplaytv.pdf

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). 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.

Submission details available nearer the time

TV/Netflix 6 part series

Deadline:  Nov 2019 (exact date tbc)

Length: 6 episodes of 25-30 minutes each or 45 -60 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) 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 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.

Submit here. Send as a pdf. Also your script will get a better reception if written in a standard format e.g. see https://downloads.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts/screenplaytv.pdf

Interactive Fiction

Thanks to PRME UK Chapter for sponsoring this prize

Deadline:  1st Dec 2019

Details: team entries allowed.

Specifications: an introduction to the story and around an hour’s worth of material/gameplay.

If you’re new to Interactive Fiction, there is a wealth of Free Software available, such as Ink and Twine for producing interactive scripts, as well as programming tools based on natural language, such as Inform7. Good examples of Interactive Fiction can be found via The Interactive Fiction Competition and The Interactive Fiction Database

Prizes:  £750 total prize fund: 1st prize £500, 2nd prize £100, 3rd prize £50 plus £50 for best student submission (18-25 years) and £50 for best under 18 year submission. If a student or under 18 entry is the best piece of work then it will win first prize regardless of whether the entry is from a student or under 18 entry and prizes for those categories will go to the next best entry.

We are collaborating with Talespinners a cooperative of freelancers who provide writing, narrative design, and consultancy for games, on the details of this competition.

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Submission details available nearer the time.

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

The judges will vary by the competition format. The process will be that entries are screened for quality and sustainability content by someone with professional or academic experience in in Creative Writing relevant to that format and rated from 1-5. Those that are rated 4 or 5 are then sent to a team of volunteer readers and the top ten will be reviewed by a panel of judges (tbc) to decide upon the shortlist.

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.