Grist
Submission deadline: 4/12/2021, 11:59 PM

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: 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!
  • Submissions close April 12, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Standard Time.
  • 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 here when you’re ready! If you need accessibility accommodations, please e-mail imaginefiction@grist.org.
  • Stories will be judged by a board of literary experts, including authors Adrienne Maree Brown, Morgan Jerkins, Kiese Laymon, and Sheree Renée Thomas.
  • 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.

 

Creative premise:

Envision the next 180 years of equitable climate progress. What will the world look like in the year 2200 — or anywhere between then and now? How will we move around the cities of the future? What will we eat, drink, wear, use, and live in? How will we hold our relationships to land, resources, and one another? What kind of a world do you, a future ancestor, want to build? This is your opportunity to build it — on paper.

Stories should be set anywhere between the present day and the year 2200, and should show our path to a clean, green, and just future. (Of course, we don’t expect your story to be totally rosy or pollyannaish. 180 years of equitable climate progress will involve hard work and struggle, and we invite you to show that, too.)

Imagine 2200 draws inspiration from Afrofuturism, as well as Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, disabled, feminist, and queer futures. 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’ll be reading for the following core elements:

  • Hope
  • Intersectionality
  • Resilience
  • A society that is radically different from the one we live in today, and how we got there
  • A focus on climate, with creative and clearly articulated solutions that put people and planet first

We will also judge submissions based on the quality of artistic voice, originality, craftsmanship, and technique, and the depth of environmental, scientific, historical, and/or cultural background that informs the story.

For more specific questions on what we’re going for, check out the FAQ post here. You can also contact the team at imaginefiction@grist.org.