Grist invites you to submit a climate fiction short story for our third annual contest, Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors.
Imagine 2200 celebrates stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress, imagining intersectional worlds of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope. Stories must be set between today and the year 2200, in a future that shows the path to a clean, green, just world. We are looking for stories that showcase creative climate solutions and community-centered adaptations. We especially want to read — and share — narratives that center solutions from the communities most impacted by the climate crisis and stories that envision what a truly equitable, decolonized society could look like.
In 3,000 to 5,000 words, show us the world you dream of building.
We love to see stories that are rooted in cultural authenticity (a deep sense of place, customs, cuisine, and more) and rich subcultures that uplift traditions not often seen in mainstream literature. In addition, we love rich characters with fully-fledged identities, stories that challenge the status quo of extraction and oppression, and stories that incorporate real world climate solutions or climate science. Stories need not be overly optimistic or rosy — the path to climate progress will involve hard work, struggle, and adaptation, and we invite you to show that, too.
Finally, we are also excited to see climate themes in stories from across genres — love stories, fantasy adventures, mysteries, comedies. Give us YOUR take on climate fiction and what hope for our future means to you.
We’ll be looking for these core elements:
- Creative climate solutions
- Hope in action
- Vivid characters
- Compelling story
- Decolonized futures
We will also judge submissions based on the quality of artistic voice, originality, craft, and technique.
What we’re offering to winners:
- Cash prizes
- Publication on Grist and Grist partner sites as part of our Imagine 2200 collection
- A reason to stay hopeful
The winning writer will be awarded $3,000, with the second- and third-place finalists receiving $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. An additional nine finalists will get $300 apiece. All winners and finalists will have their story published in an immersive collection on Grist’s website.
The deadline for submission is June 13, 2023, by 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time.
Inspiration: Imagine 2200 draws inspiration from Afrofuturism, as well as Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, disabled, feminist, and queer futurisms. The contest is also grounded in hopepunk and solarpunk — literary genres that uplift equitable climate solutions and continued service to one’s community, even in the face of despair.
We are excited to see what you write and to dive into the worlds you create!
Imagine is produced with support from NRDC.
Nuts & bolts
- Entry is free!
- Submissions close June 13, 2023, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time.
- The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world, except where participation is prohibited or restricted by applicable law.
- Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
- Submissions must be fictional stories between 3,000 and 5,000 words.
- Submissions must be written in English. We are not able to translate stories from other languages at this time.
- Submissions must not have been previously published, nor received a prize or distinction in another contest.
- We do not accept simultaneous submissions (stories can only be submitted to this contest and not to others, until we have informed you of the result).
- Only one submission will be accepted per entrant.
- Submissions can be co-authored by more than one entrant. Only one of the co-authors should submit the story. The submissions form will offer a way to list the other co-author(s). If a co-authored story is selected for publication, all authors will be credited, and prize money will be divided between them.
- Submissions will only be accepted through Submittable — click the “submit” button at the bottom of this page when you’re ready! If you need accessibility accommodations, please email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Stories will be judged by a board of literary experts, including acclaimed authors and editors Nalo Hopkinson, Sam J. Miller, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
- The first-prize story will be awarded $3,000; second prize is $2,000; and third prize is $1,000. Nine additional finalists will each receive $300.
- All 12 final stories will be published on Grist’s website and partner sites as part of our Imagine 2200 collection.
- Worldwide copyright and ownership of each story remains with the author.
How to prep your story file:
- Your short story should be uploaded as a word document (.doc acceptable; .docx preferred.)
- Your word document should be named as such: title of your story, submission date. Ex. “Story Title, 2/15/2022”.
- Your document should not contain any identifying biographical information (including your name).
- The first page of your document should include your story’s title and word count at the top in Arial 14-point font.
- The rest of your document should be in Arial 12-point font with double line spacing, and at least one-inch margins.
- All document pages should include a header in the upper right-hand corner with the correct sequential page number, starting on page 1, and your story’s title.
Read the full, official rules here.
For more specific questions, check out our FAQ post here. You can also contact us at email@example.com.