Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest announces winners, forthcoming anthology

November 2, 2020

What would our world look like if we responded affirmatively to the climate crisis, reorganizing our communities and societies to live within the boundaries of our planet? How would this seismic shift transform our everyday experiences, our identities, and our relationships to the natural world and to one another?

Earlier this year, Arizona State University's Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative challenged authors from around the world to envision a multitude of climate futures for its Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest, seeking short stories that explored futures shaped by climate action at scales ranging from the local to the global. The contest received an enthusiastic international response, with more than 580 submissions from writers in 77 different countries. Earth illustration Illustration by Venkatesh Lakshmi Narayanan Download Full Image

Today, the initiative is proud to announce the contest’s grand prize winner, along with nine finalists. Their work will be published in a free digital anthology, "Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction, Volume III," which will be released in early 2021.

Grand Prize Winner — $1,000 prize

  • Amanda Baldeneaux, “Invasive Species.”

Finalists — $100 prize

  • Barakat Akinsiku, “The God of the Sea.”
  • Kathryn Bucolo Hill, “Plasticized.”
  • J.R. Burgmann, “The Drifter.”
  • Mason Carr, “The Lullaby-Dirge.”
  • Scott Dorsch, “Driftless.”
  • Sigrid Marianne Gayangos, “Galansiyang.”
  • Jules Hogan, “Those They Left Behind.”
  • Anya Ow, “Redline.”
  • Natasha Seymour, “Field Notes.”

Authors featured in the anthology hail from the Philippines, Australia, Nigeria and several U.S. states, representing a diverse range of perspectives on the climate crisis, how we might rise to meet its challenges, and the obstacles we may encounter along the way. The stories also capture a wide range of literary styles, from thrillers and elegiac meditations on environmental change to character-driven dramas and unsettling magical realism.

Submissions to the Everything Change Contest were subject to multiple rounds of blind judging by an editorial team that included 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 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. Watkins will also contribute a foreword to the upcoming anthology.

To learn more about the Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative and the Everything Change Contest, and to read previous Everything Change anthologies, visit climateimagination.asu.edu.

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. 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.

Joey Eschrich

program manager, Center for Science and the Imagination