Enter the Orna Ross Green Stories Prize for eco-novels

Arnos Vale light in the canopy. Photo by Judy Darley
The Orna Ross Green Stories Novel Prize is seeking adult novels showcasing what a sustainable society might look like.

The deadline for entries is 30th December 2021, making this the perfect chance to end the year on a positive, eco-friendly note!

There is a cash prize of £1000 for the winner and £500 for the runner up.

Green Stories aims to create a cultural body of work that entertains and informs about green solutions, inspires green behaviour and raises awareness of the necessary transformations towards a sustainable economy.

A particular aim is to use fiction as a way to reach an audience beyond those who already strive to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle, and to support winning authors to translate their stories into published books.

Entry is free, but entrants must show they have read at least one chapter from successfully published pieces from the Green Stories project that provide an example of entertaining mainstream fiction that meets the criteria of showing green solutions (not just problems) that readers can engage with.

Habitat Man book coverThis year the book is Habitat Man by D. A. Baden, an eco-themed rom-com and murder mystery written specifically for the Green Stories project. The submission survey will include a short easy quiz to demonstrate that you’ve read the extract.

Length: Submit three chapters* (minimum of 4000 words, maximum 10,000 words) of a 70,000 – 95,000-word novel as one document that must include the following:

  • the first chapter
  • another chapter that best showcases how your novel meets the green stories criteria
  • a third chapter (suggest the final chapter if possible)
  • a synopsis between 500 and 1000 words (name and contact details optional – we can identify via submission page) that covers genre, plot, characters, and details of how it meets the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.

You can submit more than three chapters if you need to, in order to make up to 4,000 words. If you reach the shortlist, Green Stories may request more chapters or the full novel from the best entries to help them choose a winner.

Eligibility

Open to all adults (18+) of any nationality, as long as the submission is in English and has not been published elsewhere.

All submissions must conform to the green stories criteria of showcasing positive visions of a more sustainable society or incorporating green solutions into the context of an otherwise mainstream story.

The competition is open to novels that are either:

–          Partially complete (at least 50%) in the first draft phase
–          Fully complete and unpublished (between 70,000 and 100,000 words).

Prizes

£1000 for the winner and £500 for runner up, plus the following: 

A half-price manuscript appraisal by established literary consultancy Daniel Goldsmith, worth £300 to £400, will be available to the authors of the top three entries.

Winners will also have the choice of either a one-to-one mentoring session with the winners (at their office in London or virtually) with literary agency Redhammer Management, or a package of self-publishing support from the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) set up by Orna Ross including a year’s membership of ALLI and a free pass to the Self-Publishing Advice Conference.

Publishing is just half the battle, to help winners achieve sales we will promote the winning book (once published) via our networks.

Submission

Find the full details of how to submit your novel excerpt entry here: https://www.greenstories.org.uk/upcoming-competitions/adult-novel-deadline-dec-2021/.

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud (dot) com.

Writing prompt – biodiverse

Dragonfly by Judy DarleyThis summer our small garden pond has been offering up treasures. Gigantic creatures have climbed from the depths, emerged glittering from their nymph exo-skeletons and whirred skywards like prehistoric helicopters.

It’s like watching a miracle unfurl. Any of these everyday wonders could prompt a tale, but I ask you to consider the magic of the pond itself. The biodiversity layered beneath the surface of the water is as rich as any forest, with extraordinary predators preparing for metamorphosis, and other wee beasties living out their lives.

Could you write or create a piece that showcases the importance of these wet ecosystems to our human-centric world? Write from the point of view of a human, water creature or even the pond itself, and if you delve into the darkness, draw some hope into your tale.

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – ladybird

Red ladybird on a red rosebud. Photo by Judy DarleyWith so much rain followed by an abundance of sunshine, everything around us is blooming, and that inevitably includes invertebrates. I’ve been struck by the sheer numbers of iggly wiggles besieging our roses, from vast number of greenfly and aphids to the ants farming and milking them for honeydew.

Happily, the juicy green critters have alerted a patrol of predators, including this beautiful crimson ladybird. Nature always has a solution for keeping things in balance.

Can you use this truth to seed an eco-optimist #clificlifi story or other creative work?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Writing prompt – heritage

Toppled tree cr James HainsworthThis grand old tree fell down in some winter storms and took out half the footpath, plus a chunk of riverbank with it.

It makes me ponder how we live so intertwined with nature, yet many of us barely register its importance in our lives. As spring bubbles into wakefulness around us, maybe it’s time to think of how much we need every little plant, insect and bird.

Today I challenge you to write or otherwise create a piece of climate fiction or art from the point of view of a speck of wilderness and the humans it encounters. What fresh twist can you bring to turn this into a positive work?

If you write or create something prompted by this, please send an email to judydarley (at) iCloud.com to let me know. With your permission, I may publish it on SkyLightRain.com.

Green Stories invites upbeat #CliFi flash fiction

Pataya, Thailand beach by Judy DarleyThe Green Stories’ team are inviting entries of Flash Fiction for their latest competition.
This competition is free to enter.

The deadline is 21st March 2020. Entries should be no longer than 500 words, excluding title.

Specifically, they are seeking Flash Fiction entries that explore themes around building a sustainable society.

“Most stories set in the future are dystopian, meaning they have a pessimistic view of society. We will consider all stories, but we encourage you to imagine a more positive settings and practices for your stories,” they say. “The story doesn’t have to be about sustainability or climate change directly. A rom-com, for example, could be set in a society that replaces ownership with borrowing and the heroine goes to a clothes library to pick up a posh dress and borrow jewellery for her big date.”

The Green Stories website is packed with information on the topics they’d like you to consider, ranging from practices such as the sharing economy to advances such as nanotechnologies and green transport.

For full details of prizes and how to enter, visit www.greenstories.org.uk/flash-fiction/

Got an event, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw attention to? Send me an email at JudyDarley(@)ICloud(dot)com.

Imaginative city

Waterstones Bristol. Photo by Judy DarleyBristol Festival of Literature begins on Friday 19th October and runs until Sunday 28th October, with a variety of imagination-stirring events taking place across the city. I’ve written about it for The Bristol Magazine, and can’t wait to dig into the riches promising to well up.

You can read my feature in the October print edition, or online here: https://thebristolmag.co.uk/word-on-the-street-bristol-festival-of-literature/

Jari Moate. Photo by Paul Bullivant

Jari Moate. Photo by Paul Bullivant

I’ve already got my tickets for two of the highlights I mention in the piece The first of these is Festival founder Jari Moate’s launch of his novel Dragonfly, taking place on Saturday 20th October at Waterstones, the Galleries. It starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are free but need to be booked here: www.bristolliteraturefestival.org

The second is the very last event of the festival – Finding the Positive –Dystopias and Utopias in a Changing Climate.

This CliFi (aka Climate Fiction) workshop is from 2-5pm on Sunday 28th October at Bristol’s YHA, and promises to offer insights into how we can share stories of our changing climate and inspire action in a positive way. I’m looking forward to soaking up plenty of inspiration!

Bristol Writers Group in Redcliffe Caves1. Photo by Paul Bullivant

Bristol Writers Group in Redcliffe Caves1. Photo by Paul Bullivant

Lots of other intriguing happenings are unfolding throughout the days of the festival, including Dark Confessions with Bristol Writers Group and friends. I’m one of the friends and looking forward to sharing my story Tunnelled in the setting that prompted it – Redcliffe Caves. Find out more and book tickets here.

And if you make it to anything on the Festival calendar, let me know how you get on!

Got an inspiring event, venue, challenge, competition or call for submissions you’d like to draw my attention to? Send an email to judydarley(at)iCloud(dot)com.