Climate scientists use models and graphs and maps to tell us what the world might be like in times to come – but telling us what life in those worlds might be like is the role of literary writing. In all of its forms and genres, fiction imagines and depicts the human – and, sometimes, the nonhuman – experience. In the case of climate change, stories can bring the abstract trends and statistics of climate science to life by presenting the manifold textures of the human perspective. Fiction making is an inherently speculative practice. Future-oriented fiction tasks us to conceive, anticipate and authorise subjective accounts of life being lived in circumstances different from our own. This isn’t (just) about new gadgets or dystopic disasters; it’s about the challenges of living in a world that, at present, we can only imagine.
But all lives are lived differently, and every perspective is unique: there is no “The Future”, but many imagined futures, plural and unevenly distributed in space and time alike. We believe that by surveying such imagined futures, we can learn a lot about the ways in which we might live in a warming world.
That’s why the Climaginaries research project in cooperation with the Narrating Climate Futures initiative is hosting a climate fiction competition: we want to curate a small collection of stories whose narratives depict and explore a climate-changed world. We’re open to a variety of formats: short stories, screenplays, art and design fictions, and comics (see below for a full list, including guidance on submission sizes).
The submission deadline will be 15th August 2019. Starting from February we will be hosting a series of events aimed at providing you with worldbuilding tools that will help you create a vivid climate-changed storyworld for your narrative to explore. (If you’re not nearby, or you’re already a masterful worldbuilder, don’t worry – you don’t need to attend the events to take part in the contest!)
We want this to be a fairly open process, but even so, it wouldn’t be a competition without some rules… or without a prize to compete for! The prize for the best entry in each category, as judged by our panel of experts (to be announced), will be publication in an e-booklet produced by the Climaginaries project, and a payment of 2000 SEK first world online electronic publication rights; all other rights to the works will be retained by their creators. We will also list two runners-up in each category in the e-booklet, along with a short synopsis of their stories and the worlds in which they take place. Finally, there will also be a gala to celebrate the stories that have been created .
Categories and so on – go to the site for this info!!
RULES AND HOW TO SUBMIT
Please submit your entry as a .pdf attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than August 15th. Submissions that do not follow the format and process specified will be deleted without consideration. No exceptions!
Original works only, please; we’re not interested in reprints or rip-offs, we want fresh material. (We’re academics, and as such we have access to plagiarism detection software – you have been warned!)
Can be in either Swedish or English. But no other languages, the jury is only bi-lingual…
Maximum of two (2) submissions per person. Please don’t use pseudonyms to get around this rule! It’s next to impossible for us to prevent you doing that, however, so we’re just going to ask you to treat the other entrants as fairly as you’d like them to treat you in the same circumstances, and to not submit more than two pieces. If we have reasonable grounds to believe you have done so, we will exclude all works submitted by you from consideration, and we fully reserve the right to make that judgement call on whatever basis we like.