Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors Short Story Contest

 Deadline Date: June 24, 2024

 Donor Name: Grist

 Grant Size: $1000 to $10,000

Grist is excited to open submissions for the fourth year of the Imagine 2200: Climate Fiction for Future Ancestors short story contest.

Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to the world. They dare you to dream anew.

They are thrilled to also announce the judges for the 2024/25 contest: Omar El Akkad and Annalee Newitz. El Akkad is an author and journalist whose award-winning debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. Newitz is a science fiction and nonfiction writer whose third novel, The Terraformers is a finalist for the Nebula Award, and whose latest nonfiction book, Four Lost Cities, is a national bestseller.

The Premise

  • Imagine 2200 celebrates stories that envision the next decades to centuries of equitable climate progress, imagining futures of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope. They are looking for stories that are rooted in creative climate solutions and community-centered resilience, showing what can happen as solutions take root, and stories that offer gripping plots with rich characters and settings, making that future come alive.
  • In 2,500 to 5,000 words, show them the world you dream of building.
  • Your story should be set sometime between the near future and roughly the year 2200.
  • A great Imagine story is not afraid to explore the challenges ahead — the path to climate progress will involve struggle and adaptation, and they invite you to show that — but ultimately offers hope that they can work together to build a more sustainable and just world. They want to see stories that incorporate real world climate solutions and climate science, as well as cultural authenticity (a deep sense of place, customs, cuisine, and more) and characters with fully-fledged identities. They especially want to read — and share — stories that center solutions and voices from the communities most impacted by the climate crisis. 
  • If you’re newer to climate, below this prompt they’ve included some resources to get you started in finding inspiration from existing solutions. Feel free to use these as a jumping off point, or to bring in any climate and justice solutions you find inspiring.
  • Your story can bring these principles into any genre — they love seeing climate themes show up in love stories, mysteries, adventure, comedy, and more. Climate connects to every part of life, and all sorts of stories can be climate stories, so dream big — envision a world where climate solutions have flourished, and where they prioritize the well-being, work to mend the communities, and lead lives that celebrate the humanity. They can’t wait to read what you come up with.

Funding Information

  • The winning writer will be awarded $3,000. The second- and third-place winners receive $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. An additional nine finalists will each receive $300. All winners and finalists will have their story published in an immersive collection on Grist’s website.
  • They are also partnering with Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project, which will offer the winning writer (or a runner-up, in the case the winner cannot accept) the opportunity to participate in its Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency, including a writing residency at the Cabin at Shotpouch Creek for the winner to spend up to four weeks in residence to continue their climate writing project. The Fellow will receive a $3,000 honorarium from Spring Creek Project.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world, except where participation is prohibited or restricted by applicable law. 
  • All authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
  • Submissions must be fictional stories between 2,500 and 5,000 words.
  • Submissions must be written in English. They 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.
  • They do not accept simultaneous submissions (stories can only be submitted to this contest and not to others, until they 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. 
  • Your story may not have been generated or written, in whole or in part, by artificial intelligence.

For more information, visit Grist.

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