How do I submit?
Does my story have to be unpublished?
We are looking for unpublished stories BUT it depends: if you have a story that has been published, but with a low distribution and you plan to make several adaptations to fit the criteria for the competition then we may accept it – email firstname.lastname@example.org with details so we can make a decision.
Is there a minimum word length?
No, but we would be surprised if you could tell a good story that meets the criteria in under 1000 words – but if you think you can prove us wrong – send it in.
Who will be the judges?
Entries are screened for quality and sustainability content first by Dr Aiysha Jahan, who has a PhD in Creative Writing. Those that are shortlisted are passed to Dr Baden: Associate Professor in Business Sustainability and Carole Burns, published author, journalist and Head of Creative Writing at the University of Southampton for judging.
What is the aim of the competition?
Human stories are a more effective way to engage people in sustainability issues than dry facts so the aim is to raise awareness of sustainability issues, practices, policies and technologies via a story.
We are currently living beyond our means – if everyone lived as we do in the UK we’d need 3 planets, so the aim of sustainable development is to find ways of living where there is less wasteful distribution of resources. We need to work out ways that we can all have what we need using fewer resources and be just as happy.
The necessary societal transformations to sustainable societies require profound systemic changes across social, cultural, economic, environmental, economic, political and technological domains. But to imagine how all aspects can come together within one society is more the domain of creative fiction. Therefore this competition aims to harness the creative visions of writers to imagine sustainable societies.
What are the criteria for winning?
There are two key priorities:
1. story telling ability – the story should be engaging and
2. showcase what a green/sustainable society might look like.
Just as some books/films product place products, we aim to ‘product place’ sustainable attitudes behaviours products and policies. The story doesn’t have to be specifically about climate change or catastrophic shortages, it can be any kind of genre – rom com, crime drama, legal drama, children’s book, sci fi etc. as long as it showcases sustainable technologies, practices, products or ideas in the background. Or another acceptable approach could be to focus on characters. Currently characters in fiction who are green/ethical are often portrayed as priggish or aggressive, we’d like to see attractive characters behaving in sustainable ways.
Who counts as a student?
We will include MAs and PhDs and those still in school or college.