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The Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative

What are the social responsibilities of arts and culture? What kinds of relationships can art have with science? How can stories and media influence political discourse and collective decision making? What do we do when the past can no longer serve as a reliable guide to the future?

In partnership with ASU's Center for Science and the Imagination, the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative explores how our imagination--or lack thereof--shapes humanity’s responses to climate change and can work with science to pose potential solutions.

Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest

In addition to speaker events and other educational programs, the Climate Futures Initiative sponsors Everything Change, a bi-annual climate fiction contest exploring the future of our changing planet using the tools of speculative fiction.

This year's contest is judged by Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Gold Fame Citrus. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000. Winning entries will also be published in an e-book. Submissions must be 5,000 words or less. There are no fees to submit. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2020.

To learn more about the contest, you can keep reading or submit your workYou also read past anthologies

The Provocation

The beating drum of the climate crisis is a constant reminder that our planet is a closed, limited system, and that we’re currently living far beyond its boundaries. We are looking for short stories that help us imagine how humans can live within Earth’s planetary boundaries—at the individual level, yes, but more importantly at the level of organizations, communities, and societies, and at the level of a global human civilization. What would our world look like if we actually respected and lived within planetary boundaries? How would we organize our homes, communities, cities, and nations? How would we live with and relate to each other at the global level? How might politics, culture, relationships, and identities—all of the messiness of human lives—change in a world where we’re grappling seriously with the climate crisis, and perhaps even trying to restore some of the damage we’ve already done to the planet and its ecosystems? What kinds of obstacles, conflicts, and transformations will arise during these humongous shifts? How can we ensure that a sustainable or even climate-positive future is also a just and equitable one?

Guidelines and Details

Submissions must be 5,000 words or less. All genres of short fiction are welcome. The first place winner will be awarded $1,000, and nine finalists will receive prizes of $100. There is no entry fee to submit your story. The winner and finalists will be published in our third Everything Change digital anthology, which will be free to read and share.

The submission deadline is April 15, 2020, by 11:59pm Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7).

Judging

The contest’s lead judge will be Claire Vaye Watkins, a former Guggenheim Fellow, winner of The Story Prize and the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, and author of Gold Fame Citrus, a climate fiction novel that was named a best book of 2015 by The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and NPR.

Claire will join an interdisciplinary group of judges with expertise in climate science, sustainability, creative writing, and environmental literature. Our judging process will be blind: judges will not have access to any identifying information about the authors, including their names, places of origin, or ages.

Picture of Claire Vaye Watkins

Meet our Judge

Claire Vaye Watkins was born and raised in the Mojave Desert. She is the author of Gold Fame Citrus and Battleborn, which won the Story Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize, New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award, the Rosenthal Family Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Silver Pen Award from the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. She is an assistant professor in the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan and the co-director, with Derek Palacio, of the Mojave School, a free creative writing workshop for teenagers in rural Nevada.

More Information

To learn more about the contest, you can read the first two Everything Change anthologies for free in a variety of digital formats:

In each of our first two climate fiction contests, we received a broad array of high-quality submissions: hundreds of short stories from authors in more than 65 countries. Everything Change, Volume II was reviewed by a variety of media outlets, including NPR and The Chicago Review of Books.

If you have questions, send us an email.

Our Sponsor

Support for the 2020 Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest is provided by Ingka Group, the largest retailer and a strategic partner in the IKEA franchise system, operating nearly 380 IKEA stores in 30 countries. Learn more about Ingka Group and its commitment to sustainability at https://www.ingka.com/about-us/sustainability. Ingka Group and its representatives will not be involved in the judging process, the decision-making around the winners of the contest, or the editorial process for the Everything Change book.