climate fiction contest

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest!

We received a fantastic response to this year’s contest—more than 580 submissions from 77 different countries—and we were incredibly impressed by the quality of the stories we received. See below for more information about the contest, the judging process, and our free digital anthology, published on Earth Day 2021!

Grand Prize Winner—US$1000 prize
Amanda Baldeneaux, “Invasive Species,” United States

Finalists—US$100 prize
Barakat Akinsiku, “The God of the Sea,” Nigeria
J.R. Burgmann, “The Drifter,” Australia
Mason Carr, “The Lullaby-Dirge,” United States
Scott Dorsch, “Driftless,” United States
Sigrid Marianne Gayangos, “Galansiyang,” Philippines
Kathryn E. Hill, “Plasticized,” United States
Jules Hogan, “Those They Left Behind,” United States
Anya Ow, “Redline,” Australia
Natasha Seymour, “Field Notes,” Australia

About the Contest

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. For this contest, we were 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?

Our 2020 Everything Change Contest built on the success of contests in 2016 and 2018, inviting writers from around the world to submit stories of up to 5,000 words exploring climate change, narrating a world in flux. We’ve been thrilled to receive incredible submissions to each contest, and to publish our grand prize winners and finalists in our Everything Change anthologies.

We welcomed submissions in all genres of short fiction, including speculative, realistic, literary, experimental, hybrid forms, and more. Climate change is such a massive phenomenon, and sometimes so ineffable, that we need all of the tools of narrative to adequately understand it and share stories and experiences about it.

About the Judging Process

Submissions were subject to multiple rounds of blind review by an editorial team that included ASU experts on climate science, sustainability, creative writing, and environmental literature. The final round of judging was conducted by 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.

Our Latest Anthology: Everything Change, Volume III

On Earth Day 2021, we published Everything Change, Volume III, a free digital anthology featuring the grand prize–winning and finalist stories from the 2020 contest, along with original illustrations by Brazilian artist João Queiroz.

Learn More

Read our first two Everything Change anthologies for free in a variety of digital formats:

Everything Change, Volume I
Everything Change, Volume II

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.

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 Ingka Group and its representatives were not involved in the judging process, the decision-making around the winners of the contest, or the editorial process for the Everything Change book.