About the competition

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Contest Guidelines

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 sustainable practices and/or societies.

Most stories set in the future are dystopian – 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. Do feel free to draw upon the resources in this Sustainable Societies website to write your story. 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.

All competitions are free to enter.

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.

Formats

Stage Play

Deadline: 17th June 2019 (may extend by 3-4 months if insufficient high quality entries)

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

Prizes: tbc expected £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.

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.

Full guidelines for playwriting competition

Radio Play Drama/Comedy series

Deadline: tbc expected 2019

Length/format: choose one of three categories

  1. 45 minute drama
  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: tbc expected £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: Whistledown productions have agreed to look at top entries and we are in the process of sourcing agents and other production companies to cover all genres/formats.

Full-length novel

Deadline: tbc expected 2019

Length: tbc this may depend on genre, normal novels are 50,000 – 100, 000 words but children’s books may be as little as 15000. Submit the full novel but provide a plot outline and suggest 3 chapters for judges to read that most meet the criteria.

Prizes: tbc expected £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 publication: We are in the process of sourcing suitable literary agents to read winning entries and consider any they think suitable for publication.

Full-length film screenplay

Deadline: tbc expected 2019

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

Prizes: tbc expected £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: We are in the process of sourcing suitable production companies and commissioning agents to read winning entries and consider any they think suitable for production.

Short film

Deadline:  tbc  2019

Length: between 3 and 20 minutes

Prizes:  tbc expected £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.

TV/Netflix 6 part series

Deadline:  2019 (tbc) (may extend by 3-4 months if insufficient high quality entries)

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

Prizes:  tbc expected £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: 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.

Computer Game

Deadline:  2020 tbc

Details: team entries allowed. Specifications tbc

Prizes:  tbc expected £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.

Green stories all format submission form_

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 sustainability. 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.
  • Judging:

    Stories will be judged anonymously 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.

  • 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