FAQs

How do I submit?

Submission details available on submit to the competition page

Does my story have to be unpublished?

We are looking for unpublished stories BUT it depends: if you have a story that has been published, but with a low distribution and you plan to make several adaptations to fit the criteria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 greenstories@soton.ac.uk with details so we can make a decision.

Who will be the judges?

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.

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?

Most of our competitions include prizes for under 18s and a prize for higher education students (18-25) We will include MAs and PhDs and those still in school or college as students.

Can students and < 18 will top prize?

Yes. Most of our competitions include prizes for under 18s and a prize for higher education students (18-25). But 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.

Can anyone submit?

Yes, we will accept submissions from anyone in any country as long as they are in English, haven’t been published before and meet the criteria i.e. includes sustainable solutions/characters in the backdrop of a mainstream story or offers a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like.

Can I submit to more than one format, or more than one entry?

Yes, but we have limited judges so make sure each submission is of good quality and meets the criteria i.e. either includes sustainable solutions/characters in the backdrop of a mainstream story or offers a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like.

Do I have to have the whole novel/series written?

We may only ask for an extract (see competition guidelines) but its a good idea to have the rest written as we will probably ask for the whole thing when making decisions about the finalists.

Any Other Questions?

Just contact us.