Short Story

Ended April 2018

The short story competition of 2018 was very successful and out of around 200 entries, 50 were excellent quality and the top 20 have now been published in an anthology which is now available to buy ‘Resurrection Trust’ – a collection of funny, dark, mad, bad, upbeat, downbeat and fantastical short stories about living sustainably. From eco communities to singing buildings, and sharing economies, these stories showcase a myriad of different ideas about how humans can live more harmoniously with nature and each other. It has a foreword by Caroline Lucas and review by Jonathan Porritt. It is £3.99/£7.99 online from Amazon, or even better https://www.hive.co.uk/ which allows you to support your local bookshop. Teachers, students and writers may find ‘Resurrection Trust’ a useful source of ideas if they plan on entering any of our future competitions.

1st prize Come Help Me’ by Nancy Lord

Nancy is a former Alaska Writer Laureate and the author or editor of ten books, both fiction and nonfiction. Her writing is largely about the environment and the north. Nancy holds an MFA degree from Vermont College and teaches as an adjunct in two graduate-level programs.

This is a multidimensional story with a breadth of language that revels in differences in idioms across two very different cultures. It is a love story at its core, not just between a man and a woman but a people and their environment. What we liked about this especially was the activism angle that comes in right at the end. The key character is inspirational and proactive: he spots a tension between the scientists concerned with sustainability issues and the fisherman who need to make a living and finds a way to help them work together. The author writes beautifully and captures both the relationship between the two key characters and the beauty and complexity of the ocean.

2nd prize The Buildings are Singing’by Adrian Ellis

Adrian is a full-time writer and illustrator, focussing on science-fiction, comedy and non-fiction popular science.

This short story imagines a future world where buildings are alive covered with photosynthesising plants to create energy, light and shade for the occupants. The flora is tied into artificial intelligence systems which help occupants live sustainably. Insects drawn to the foliage become nourishing protein bars and life is low carbon and almost utopian – unless you do something wrong! Good points were made through humour, and made us laugh out loud in parts. The story integrates lots of potentially transformative solutions, yet at the heart is a lonely woman who just wanted a little company.

Best student entryThe Return’ by Meg Smith

Meg is a postgraduate student at Bath Spa University studying Environmental Humanities. During her studies she has become increasingly worried and intrigued about creating and sharing environmentally-friendly narratives for an Anthropocene world. Meg is passionate about encouraging sustainable, cultural change that promotes rethinking current lifestyles.

The Return’ is a sci-fi fantasy with an interesting premise: the idea that the Earth has a reset button so we can start over and go back to an earlier age. The story moves between the two time periods with ease, the juxtapositioning makes the reader more aware of the excesses of today’s world.