Open Call: Creative Writing on Climate Change

Stories, Poetry, and Art on Humanity and Nature for

The Climate Change Issue

Deadline April 30, 2019

What is our place in the natural world? If we destroy our environment, will it in turn destroy us? From 19th century Romanticism to dystopian science fiction, the complex relationship between humanity and the environment around us has long inspired writers and artists. Today, those dystopian predictions are rapidly coming true as our society is disrupting the natural balance on which we depend. It is the responsibility of all, authors and artists included, to do what we can. Through stories and poetry exploring our encounters with nature, this issue of the London Reader reveals the many ways our communities have caused and are influenced by an increasingly unstable climate.

The London Reader is issuing an open call for short stories, creative nonfiction, flash/mini-fiction, poetry, and artwork that explores our role in the natural world.

Submissions could involve characters experiencing such things as a touching moment with nature, nostalgia for the natural past, sublime visions of wilderness, dystopian or utopian predictions of climate change, specific events of climate breakdown, the effects of unrestrained pollution, the blurry boundary between urban and wilderness, harmony in nature disrupted by exploitation, the role of national parks and nature preserves, clear-cutting contrasted to re-wilding, or natural disaster survival stories.

Possible writing prompts:
• A eulogy for the natural world
• Spring floods destroy the old family cottage
• The last polar bear in the wild dies on a melting ice flow
• City life leaves the narrator longing for a trip to the forests of their youth
• Characters struggle in a dystopian future under an anti-science government
• California wildfires force a young couple to evacuate their new home
• Revolutionaries fight against the destructive force of the fossil fuel industry
• A camping trip twenty years later reveals how much the wilderness has changed
• A town in Wales rallies together to repair an old seawall after the government abandons them
• A Floridian family flees through swamps as the peninsula is swallowed by storm surges
• Climate refugees are turned away at the Canadian border

What to submit: Creative works can be stand-alone pieces or collections, but should generally be fewer than 5,000 words or no more than 3 poems. Multiple submissions are welcome. Artwork should be favourably viewed on a tablet or single A5 page.

How to submit: The London Reader Submission Portal.

If you have any questions or difficulty submitting, email coordinator@LondonReader.uk.

The deadline for submission on this theme is April 30, 2019.

Image: “Human Nature”, oil on canvas, by David Ambarzumjan