Climate-Focused Writing Contest – Win $1000

Create a Climate Vision
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition

Invites you to

A Competition for Creative Writers and Artists

“Hard times are coming…We will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to
how we live now. What if we could see through our fear-stricken society to other ways of being
and imagine some real grounds for hope?” Ursula K. Le Guin

On a ____day in the year 2047, George and Gina looked out their bedroom window and

Writers, help us create a new kind of story!

The Sustainable Montpelier Coalition is inviting writers and graphic artists of all ages to imagine
what central Vermont will be like in the year 2047. This world won’t be darkly dystopian: rather,
it will describe innovative solutions, for how the people of this region are dealing with the
growing effects of climate change. What if a 12-foot snowstorm has cut off power and
transportation? How will we be recovering from a massive drought or a terrible flood? What are
neighbors doing for neighbors?

Prize: Winning entrants will take home $1000.

Prizes will be awarded at the One World Festival
of Arts and Innovation, on the State House Lawn, July 25th 2020.

Challenge: Through the written word and graphic narrative, you can help change the future.
Your creative idea can serve as a model for Montpelier and surrounding towns.
Your inspiring fiction, considered essay or imaginative graphical story will focus on one day in
the future in a climate-changed Central Vermont. You will take the reader through time to a
certain day (of your choosing) in 2047. With brevity and clarity, you’ll imagine what that day
looks and feels like. You’ll offer a visions of innovations or responses that might have emerged
between now and then. These imagined solutions will be both plausible and useful to everyone
here in central Vermont.
We hope your ideas can inspire the whole community.
Judging: $1,000 prizes will go to the winners in each of five categories of submissions. All
entries will be professionally juried to produce the finalists. Finalists will be chosen by a twelve
judge panel (TBA) and the winners of each prize will be selected by an online public vote.

Without a vision, the people will perish. ~Proverbs 29:18~

Submission Categories:
Short Story: up to 2,500 words.
Essay: up to 1,000 words.
Graphic Story: up to five pages.

Five $1,000 prizes will be awarded. For short story and essay— Adult Writers (21 years of age
and over), the other for Youth (under 21)— for a total of four writer winners. The graphic story
category, eligible to artists of any age, will have one prize winner.


Up to 20 points can be earned in each of the competencies. Winning Entries will:
1. Exhibit the highest quality work in the chosen genre.
2. Demonstrate the ability to think about the future of Central Vermont in an innovative
3. Describe a compelling vision that serves as a focal point for community cohesion and
future action.
4. Motivate the reader to take positive actions toward confronting and adapting to and or
reducing the severity of climate change. Writers will imagine the broad range of potential
disruptive impacts of climate change.
5. Help the reader imagine a future in which many feel at home, in spite of a narrative
where today’s assumptions about everyday life are turned on their heads.

This competition’s subject frame is the greater Montpelier Vermont area and will assume a
firsthand knowledge of the local layout and culture.

Launch date: March 31, 2020
Sustainable Montpelier Coalition launches the competition with author and climate
change activist Bill McKibben at public event in the Montpelier High School Library.
Deadline for Submission: May 25, 2020
Announcement of finalists and public voting
Announcement of Winners: July 25, 2020

Visit our website for more information at:

The moment we start imagining a new world and sharing it with one another through story is

the moment that new world may actually come.

Brit Marling

Climate Writing Competition Co-Directors
Elizabeth Courtney & Dan Jones
Climate Writing Competition Jurors and Advisors
Rita Banerjee
Simeon Chapin
Barbara Conrey
Rickie Gard Diamond
David Dobbs
Bronwyn Fryer
Joy Gambill
Paul Gambill
Gregg Gossens
Nancy Graff
Robbie Harold
Pat Hinkley
Don Hooper
Ed Koren
Ellen Lovell
Catherine Lowther
Stephen Macarthur
Bill McKibben
Kerrin McCadden
Tino O’Brien
Katie Rasmussen
Susan Ritz
Gus Speth
David Schutes
Amy Seidl
Tom Slayton

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