Deadline: July 22, 2022

Often when promoting waste reduction and reduction of high-energy activities, such as running hot water, we come up against health and safety issues. Some of these are valid, but many are misinformed.

This is a targeted competition aimed at using an engaging fictional story to help readers understand how over-cleaning and misinformation about bacteria can mean that we can end up killing our bodies ‘good’ bacteria through over-use of harsh cleaning products.

Your challenge is to write a short story (between 1000 and 3000 words) that helps to raise awareness and shift attitudes, especially for those people who assume that the more detergent the better.

Eligibility: Open to all – we encourage international writers. All submissions must be in English and unpublished.

Length: We ask for a short story of between 1000 and 3000 words.

Please submit your short story plus around 200 words on your thinking behind your approach and how your story meets the criteria. The title of the document should be the title of your story. No need to have your name/contact details on the document as we take these separately.

We are keen to encourage quality submissions, so suggest writers to check their stories before submitting using Prowritingaid. They have free and paid versions and are the best writing software we know to help improve grammar, readability and check for repetition, ‘sticky’ sentences and suggest alternatives.

Judging Criteria

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:

  1. Well written, engaging story between 1000 and 3000 words
  2. Promotes eco-friendly cleaning practices (directly or indirectly) or addresses misinformation about bacteria and cleaning.

It does NOT have to have an explicitly green theme, or promote eco-friendly cleaning practices directly – it is okay to be more subtle. Not every story needs to address every issue. It’s fine to have a love story, family drama or crime story as the main plot and the cleaning/bacterial aspect as a sub-plot, so it is engaging to mainstream readers but undermines some misinformed beliefs as well.

Judging Process: Our team of green stories judges will select those entries that are well written and meet the criteria. From these we will choose up to four stories and share them with approx. 50 readers who will report back on which they most enjoyed and how these stories affected their attitudes and behaviours*. We will then use their feedback to help us decide upon our final winner. The winner will be announced in October 2022.

*As this will form part of pilot study into the effectiveness of fiction in affecting behaviour and attitudes, we will check with selected authors if they are happy for their stories to be used in this way. Copyright remains with the author.

Length: if you feel you need to go over 3000 words to tell the story, consider entering the Orna Ross Green Stories Novel Prize (deadline December) instead. Perhaps you can write this as a standalone chapter and develop ideas and characters into a novel. We won’t be too strict on word length (absolute max 5000 words), but we want to keep stories concise as our judging process asks readers to help us choose, and the longer the story, the longer it will take them.


Click Here To Apply

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