Orna Ross Green Stories Novel Prize Dec 2021

Aim of Prize

Our mission is to create a cultural body of work that entertains and informs about green solutions, inspires green behaviour and raises awareness of the necessary transformations towards a sustainable economy. Currently most green communications preach to the converted i.e. only those who already care choose to watch climate change documentaries or read books with a green theme. Thus a particular aim is to use fiction as a way to reach a wider audience, and support winning authors to translate their stories into published books.

Entry Fee and Submission Criteria

Entry Fee: Free*

* but entrants must show they have read at least one chapter from successfully published pieces from the Green Stories project that provide an example of entertaining mainstream fiction that meets the criteria of showing green solutions (not just problems) that readers can engage with. This year the book is Habitat Man, an eco-themed rom-com written specifically for the green stories project. Green Stories will provide one chapter free to download by the end of September or you can buy the whole book now if you prefer. The submission survey (link available 2 months before the deadline) will include a short easy quiz to demonstrate that you’ve read the extract.

The reason is that over the previous 12 competitions, we have found that as it is free to enter, a large burden has been placed on our judges reading large numbers of entries that do not met the criteria.

Length: Typically novels are 70,000 – 95,000 words. Submit three chapters* (minimum of 4000 words, maximum 10,000 words) as one document that must include the following:

  • the first chapter
  • another chapter that best showcases how your novel meets the green stories criteria
  • a third chapter (suggest the final chapter if possible)
  • a synopsis between 500 and 1000 words (name and contact details optional – we can identify via submission page) that covers genre, plot, characters, and details of how it meets the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.  

*You can submit more than three chapters if you need to, in order to make up to 4,000 words.  If you get to the short list, we may then ask for more chapters or the full novel from the best entries to help us decide.


Open to all adults (18+) of any nationality, as long as the submission is in English and has not been published elsewhere.

All submissions must conform to the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.  

The competition is open to novels that are either:

–          Partially complete (at least 50%) in the first draft phase
–          Fully complete and unpublished (between 70,000 and 100,000 words).

Submission details and link will be provided two months before the deadline

Judging Criteria

Entries must conform to the green stories criteria of showing a positive vision of what a sustainable society might look like or include green solutions/policies/characters in the context of an otherwise mainstream story. It does NOT have to have an explicitly green theme, as green solutions can be smuggled in quite subtly – for ideas see our resources page. Conversely, stories that have an explicitly green theme but simply point out problems without including solutions also will not meet the criteria – see our full competition guidelines.


£1000 for the winner and £500 for runner up, plus the following: 

Helping you achieve success: A workshop on writing green stories will be held in November 2021, either virtually or physically at the University of Southampton (TBC).  Sign up for our mailing list, or follow us on TwitterInstagram or Facebook to keep up to date.

Half price manuscript appraisal (worth £300-400) for top three entries by established literary consultancy Daniel Goldsmith. Daniel Goldsmith Associates are literary and publishing consultants. They work with writers to improve their writing, offer rights and contracts management services to literary agents and help new publishers to start up. See their website or follow them on Twitter @literaryconsult

If you want to try for a traditional publishing route, we also have an agreement from Peter Cox from the literary agency, Redhammer Management, to provide a one to one mentoring session with the winners (at their office in London or virtual meeting).

If you want to pursue the independent publishing route, winners can access a package of support from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) set up by Orna Ross that includes a year’s membership of ALLI and a free pass to the Self-Publishing Advice Conference.

Publishing is just half the battle, to help winners achieve sales we will promote the winning book (once published) via our networks.