The Climate in Emergency

A weekly blog on science, news, and ideas related to climate change

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Contest: Three-Minute Climate Fiction

Many years ago, I entered a three-minute fiction contest with a story about a large house cat who inexplicably becomes a man. I tied for first place and went on to the final round where I placed well but did not win. I seem to remember receiving an anthology about zombies as a prize for participating. In any case, I had fun, and I enjoyed the challenge of fitting an interesting story into so few words.

I’d like to extend a similar opportunity for fun to you, but with a twist.

In this contest, your story must not only be very brief (300 words or less, including title), it must also be about climate change. I’ll accept entries until the end of April and I’ll announce the winner on this blog (and on one of my other blogs, News from Caroline) in the first week of May. The winner gets bragging rights and publication on one of my blogs. I might publish some runners up, too, depending on how many entries come in.

To enter, just shoot me an email at and make sure I respond to you. If you don’t hear back in a day or two, then Gmail probably ate your message and you should send it again.

The reason I’m holding a literary contest is as a proof-of-concept. If the contest goes well, I’ll hold a series of them, complete with a small entry fee and a modest cash prize as a fundraiser for this blog (part of the entry fee will go to the blog and part will become prize money). Also, I consider fiction an excellent way for society to explore the impact of climate change and I want to support the genre.

Here are the rules

Contest Rules

  1. Entries must be narrative fiction of no more than 300 words, including the title.
  2. Entries must relate to anthropogenic climate change in some way and MUST treat anthropogenic climate change as real.
  3. Entries may contain fantastical elements (e.g., unicorns, fairies, space aliens, etc.) but anything scientific must be accurate. Descriptions of the climate must be scientifically plausible.
  4. By entering the contest, the contestant affirms that he or she owns the rights to the entry and can legally give me the right to publish it online.
  5. I ask for only the non-exclusive right to publish the winning entry and any runners up online on my blog. The author keeps all other rights.
  6. I will judge among the qualified entries based on whether I like them. All judgments are final.

I look forward to reading your work!