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2023 Showcase Submission Instructions

With your Solarpunk vision for the planetary future in mind, please write a short story of up to 2,500 words and send it as an email (or Word/ PDF/ Google Doc email attachment) to XR Wordsmiths (xr-writers@protonmail.com) with the subject line ‘Solarpunk Showcase Submission 2023’.

Writers under the age of 18, please have your parents fill out a consent form for your entry. You can click on it here and please attach it with your submission.

There will be three age bands, (11 and under, 12-18, and 19+), so please include your age on the submission, but do not include your name on the actual story submission (just in the email, please!).

Submissions should be in English. Unfortunately, our translation capacities are not strong enough right now to be able to field submissions in other languages. We apologize for any exclusion, and encourage the replication of this writing exercise in all languages! NB: if you are interested in hosting this competition in a non-English language and would like some help getting started, please contact us, we are eager to help!

  • Competitors can submit as many stories as they like
  • Co-authored submissions will also be accepted. There is NO minimum word count (and no minimum age limit!)
  • Handwritten entries will also be accepted as a JPEG or PDF attachment.
  • Entries must be prose fiction (no poems or non-fiction, please).
  • Submission deadline: 5th March 2023

Stuck for ideas?

Here are some (optional) story prompts to help get your creativity flowing!

For writers 12 and up:

  1. It’s election day in 2025, and you have just been elected to a political office. What is the vision that drove your successful campaign?
  2. You are representing humanity in peace negotiations with the 4 elements (Earth, Wind, Fire, Water). How do you propose to restore the balance that humanity has destroyed?
  3. How might Solarpunk nomadic lifestyles help create a more sustainable future, where we live in greater harmony with all other life on our planet? (pssst, you can read more about Solarpunk nomadic lifestyles Solarpunk nomadic lifestyles here!)

Submission Instructions for our Younger Solarpunk Storytellers

We want your help imagining a healthy planet and world! As you know, the climate is in trouble and we are all working hard to make the earth healthier for ourselves, for animals, and for plants. If you had a crystal ball and could look into the future to see that healthier planet and world, what would it look like? We want to hear your visions of the future. “Solarpunk” is a kind of story that imagines a positive, happy future, with a healthy planet, kindness and equality, and cool climate technology. Can you write us a story about this healthy, happy world? For your story, think about:

  • climate-friendly inventions that have been created
  • how do humans take care of nature?
  • what are your city or school like?
  • how do we treat each other more fairly?

We want to hear from you! And here’s a secret, you don’t need a crystal ball to know the future, you can create it yourself!

To help your imagination take off, we’ve given you a few ideas to start with:

  1. You’ve invented a machine that allows you to talk to creatures, plants, rocks, and oceans– what did you learn from them that helped you make the world better?
  2. The Baron of Greed has taken over your town but help is on the way! How does Captain Solarpunk unite people, plants, and creatures to save the day?
  3. You’re a grandparent now. Tell your grandchildren the story of how people made the world a better place.

And here’s a word bank that might be helpful. These are words and ideas that will help make your story more Solarpunk so think about how you can use them in your story!

fairness, hydropower, solar, kindness, equality, windpower, recycling, harmony

You do not have to use these ideas, they’re there to get you started if you need help. So let your imagination fly!