Tara's Thoughts

From Grist: First-ever, Free-entry, Climate-Fiction Short Story Contest —

Posted on: March 7, 2021

This post is directed to all the writers out there who may have an interest in sharing your vision for a world that has found its way through the Climate Crisis.  AND there is prize money involved here, folks!  Grist is accepting submissions through April 12, 2021  (11:59pm US PST).

What is Grist? Here it is in their own words:

“Our independent, nonprofit newsroom pursues in-depth stories on under-covered topics like clean energysustainable foodlivable citiesenvironmental justice, and a better economy. We elevate solutions, expose inequity, and give our readers the context, knowledge, and tools to make a difference.

Grist was founded in 1999 as one of the nation’s first online-only publications, covering serious topics without taking ourselves too seriously. TIME magazine calls Grist  the Colbert Report of climate change … except with real reporting and analytical journalism.”

And here is their Media byline:

“A non-profit news organization for people who want a planet that doesn’t burn and a future that doesn’t suck.”

Well said!!   OKAY, so. Here is what Grist is offering via FIX, their Solutions Lab:

“All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.”

Here are the rest of the details and submission guidelines:

“Welcome to Imagine 2200 — a new climate-fiction contest by Fix, Grist’s solutions lab. What we’re seeking: short stories that envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What we’re offering: $8,700 in prizes, publication, and a reason to stay hopeful.

The world is crazy right now, and the stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future. Our newsfeeds are full of denial, delay, and doom that make us want to scream into our pillows. But that’s just the old story. At Fix, we are telling the new story, of a path to a clean, green, and just future, and the people who are driving it. Our mission is to make the story of a better world so irresistible, you want it right now.

With that goal in mind, we decided to launch our first foray into the world of hopeful, forward-looking fiction — to inspire visions of the future that haven’t even been dreamt up yet, and welcome more voices into the climate conversation. Join this uprising of imagination, and help us turn the page on earth’s next chapter.

Nuts & Bolts

  • Entry is free!
  • The contest is open to writers anywhere in the world.
  • Authors must be 18 years or older at the time of submission.
  • Submissions must be short, fictional stories, between 3,000–5,000 words.
  • No previously published, multiple, or simultaneous submissions accepted.
  • 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 imaginefiction@grist.org
  • Stories will be judged by a board of literary experts, including authors Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, and Kiese Laymon.
  • The first-prize story will be awarded $3,000; second prize $2,000; and third prize $1,000. Nine additional finalists will each receive a $300 honorarium.
  • All 12 final stories will be published in a digital collection on Fix’s website, and the authors will be celebrated in a public-facing virtual event.
  • Worldwide copyright and ownership of each story remains with the author.
  • If a story is accepted for publication, Grist retains the first serial rights of the work to publish, produce, reproduce, distribute, and market.
  • All other remaining rights revert to the author upon publication.

Find more information about the contest at Grist.org/fix

And head over to their Submission Portal for complete guidelines: Grist.submittable.com

(When you are ready, click the SUBMIT button at the bottom of the Portal page.)

————————–

Please let me know if you decide to submit your story.  And, by all means, share this opportunity with any other writers you know.

I will end with one more quote from the Grist web site:

“Climate, sustainability, and social justice are the most important stories on the … well, on the planet right now. The stakes are high: just, you know, our entire frickin’ future.”

So write your hearts out and use your vision to inform, educate and enlighten, well, everybody you can so we can create a healthier world that, as they say on the Grist site, doesn’t suck.

13 Responses to "From Grist: First-ever, Free-entry, Climate-Fiction Short Story Contest —"

Well that sounds like fun. Thanks so much for sharing this project, Tara. I rarely write short stories, but I have some time coming up… now to put on my thinking cap. 🙂

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D, Your amazing facility for imagery and extrapolation will serve you well in any literary form you choose to venture into. I will be happy to follow you wherever that journey takes you!

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Thank you for the kind comment, Tara. Happy Weekend!

Liked by 1 person

I’d love to try this. Hope the deadline is not too close

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Yes, there is still time. Submissions are accepted until be April 12, 2021. I would be so delighted to read about the world you will imagine!

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Fingers crossed. I’d like to read yours too.

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Thank you, Jude. Challenge acknowledged. However, you may have noticed my posts are essays about real things. The truth is I am a technical writer and curriculum development specialist with lots of opinions to share. But I have not ever actually written fiction (unless you count song lyrics). So world building would be a really big stretch for me. I thank you for planting that seed.

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It’s a great challenge for all.🧡

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This is an amazing opportunity! I’ve long advocated for fiction that provides a model for how humanity might band together to solve the climate crisis. Anyone looking for inspiration is advised to read Margaret Renkl’s op-ed in today’s New York Times, “Yes, America, There Is (Some) Hope for the Environment.”

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Sean, what a treat it would be to read your version of humanity’s future!

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Sean, What a treat it would be to read your version of humanity’s future!
For my other readers, Sean is a fellow climate activist and we serve together on the San Fernando Valley, CA Climate Reality Project Leadership Team.
Sean has deep insight and wide-ranging views of Climate-related issues. And, as many of you know, crazy good writing skills.
I would love to see where your journey would take us, Sean!

Liked by 1 person

Thanks, Tara! At the moment, I don’t have any cli-fi stories up my sleeve (wish I did), but the novel I’m working on is about an animal-control officer in Upstate New York whose community is being terrorized by a monster in the woods. The impetus was to do a story about how much we depend on public servants, and why we shouldn’t take them for granted, so even though it isn’t an eco-narrative, it’s still very much a prosocial and pro-democracy story. (But’s it’s funny and scary, too!) I think storytellers have an obligation to provide a model for the kind of society we could have; post-apocalyptic narratives about roving gangs of marauders and the walking dead are an indulgence we can’t afford right now. We need to exercise greater moral imagination than that, to use Vice President Gore’s term.

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“…storytellers have an obligation to provide a model for the kind of society we could have”. Sean, your statement here is so important and, in my view, has been missing from our storytelling for far too long. I knew we, as a society, were in trouble decades ago when the prominent televisions shows turned into “reality” shows that are nothing more than excuses to watch people make terrible choices and behave badly. A truly terrible model for the viewing audience.
I applaud your focus on appreciation of those who contribute to the health and welfare of our communities and show us the positive view of what we can become.
Looking forward to your new novel!

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Tara Sitser - Leadership Member of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project

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