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2023 Showcase FAQ

Q: Who are XR Wordsmiths?

A: We are a band/collective of writers who are deeply concerned with the climate and ecological emergency facing us all. We are a part of Extinction Rebellion, and hail from all over the world. Our writing is one way we battle against this emergency — we hope it spurs curiosity, concern, inspiration, reflection, love, rage, and also action. You’ll find all kinds of writing here, and a diversity of voices and styles, to remind us of the diversity of humankind and of our beautiful living earth.

Q: What is Solarpunk?

A: Solarpunk is an art movement that envisions how the future might look if humanity succeeded in solving major contemporary challenges, with an emphasis on sustainability problems such as climate change and pollution, using only current technologies. It encompasses a multitude of media such as literature, fine arts, architecture, fashion, music, tattoos, and video games in a similar manner to adjacent movements such as steampunk and cyberpunk as well as more established art movements like Baroque and Impressionism. Punk of all kinds (including solarpunk) is about uplifting the downtrodden and including the excluded – including nonhumans.

Q: Can you recommend any Solarpunk books I can use for inspiration?

A: Absolutely! Solarpunk: Ecological and Fantastical Stories in a Sustainable World – Anthology edited by Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro, Translated by Fabio Fernandes (2012)

Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation – edited by Phoebe Wagner and Brontë Christopher Wieland (2017)

Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers – Anthology edited by Sarena Ulibarri and Wendy Nikel (2018)

Q: Why are you focusing on optimistic visions for the future, when there is (unfortunately) so much inspiration for negative visions?

A: Sci-fi is already bursting with imagined dystopias, and whilst these serve to warn us of and explore possible negative developments, they do not necessarily help us imagine how to avert them.

Q: Can I include illustrations with my story?

A: Yes! We welcome your illustrations – you can send them as attachments in your submission email to us. However, we will only be judging the text you send, not any images.

Q: Can I only submit one story?

A: You can submit as many stories as you like! Please submit all your stories in the same email.

Q: Will you accept co-authored submissions?

A: Yes! But please note that the prizes will have to be split between you.

Q: Can I enter if I’ve entered before?

A: Yes. you can - we’re keen to showcase new talent, but we’re also very happy to welcome back those who participated in the last showcase - our primary aim is to help inspire a better future and to involve as many people as possible in doing that.