Can you write a climate future?

Expressions of interest due by midnight 28 February 2019.

Can you write a climate future?

Island magazine invites Tasmanian writers to ‘write the future’ by creatively exploring climate change, adaptation and resilience.

Thanks to a Dr Edward Hall Environment Grant from the City of Hobart, we are able to offer three writers the chance to develop a piece of creative nonfiction or fiction for publication in Island with a payment of $1000 each.

 Island believes that responding creatively to the impacts of a changing climate and imagining possible adaptations can help to transform abstract concepts into relatable worlds, deepening the community’s engagement with this crucial challenge.

What do you need to do?

Read the City of Hobart’s Hobart Climate Change Information for Decision Making document to better understand the expected impacts of climate change in Tasmania. 

Develop an expression of interest (not necessarily your whole piece) and submit to by AEST 11.59pm 28 February 2019.

Before submission, please read the guidelines for eligibility, instructions on how to submit an expression of interest, and detailed terms and conditions. All this information can be found below.

What happens next?

The Island editorial team will select three expressions of interest and discuss the development of these projects with the selected authors. All authors will be notified by mid-March 2019.

Successful authors must submit a first draft of their project to Island by mid-May 2019, and be prepared to work through an editorial process guided by Island’s Managing Editor.

The three selected pieces of creative nonfiction or fiction will be published in an issue of the printed magazine at Island’s discretion during 2019, and will later be made permanently and freely available online.

The project will culminate in a free public event in Hobart at which the authors will discuss their responses to imagined climate futures.

Guidelines, terms and conditions

Writers must submit an expression of interest (not necessarily the whole piece of written work) to Vern Field at by AEST 11.59pm 28 February 2019.

The expression of interest should address:

  • whether the writer intends to submit fiction or nonfiction

  • a brief synopsis of the writer’s idea/project (no more than 200 words)

  • a short sample of the writer’s work (either a draft section of the anticipated project, or a previous completed piece of writing)

  • a brief summary of the writer’s relevant experience (no more than 100 words).

The expression of interest can be communicated in a Word file or PDF. There is no need to submit hard copy.

Works will be creative nonfiction or fiction to a maximum of 3500 words, responding to climate change impacts, adaptation or resilience.

Works must be original, unpublished, and by a single author.

Academic or scientific papers will not be considered, unless transformed into a creative response suitable for a general audience.

All Tasmanian writers are eligible to enter, with the exception of currently employed Island magazine staff, interns and current board members. ‘Tasmanian’ is defined as currently residing in Tasmania, having been born in Tasmania, or having previously resided in Tasmania for at least two years.

There is no age limit, and there is no fee to apply.

Projects do not have to be set in Tasmania nor deal specifically or solely with Tasmanian content and issues; however, writers are encouraged to read the City of Hobart’s 'Hobart Climate Change Information for Decision Making' as a starting point for their imaginative engagement with relevant climate-related issues.

Expressions of interest will be assessed by Island’s editorial team and advisors.

All writers will be notified by mid-March 2019.

For unsuccessful proposals, it is unlikely that any individual feedback will be able to be provided. No correspondence will be entered into.

Successful authors must submit a first draft of their project to Island by mid-May 2019.

Successful writers will work with Island’s Managing Editor to develop and edit the work for publication over following weeks, with resolution of a final version by mid-June 2019.

The resulting works from the three accepted projects will be published in the print magazine. The choice of which 2019 issue they are to be published in will be at Island’s discretion and will be made permanently and freely available online 3 months after the printed version is published.

The project will culminate in a free public event in Hobart at which the successful writers will be expected to discuss their responses to imagined climate futures. The date and venue for this event is to be confirmed at a later date.

Writers must guarantee that their work is original, does not plagiarise or infringe the copyright of any other party, and does not breach any other law or ethical principle of publication (e.g. defamation, libel, obscenity).

Copyright remains with the authors; however, writers must give Island exclusive publication rights for the material for the duration of the printed magazine (three months) and any further reproduction must be approved by Island and publicly acknowledge Island as the original publisher.

Further information – project rationale

Island’s call for writers to engage with the City of Hobart’s climate strategies will promote broad engagement with the reality of climate change and its expected impacts in Tasmania. It will also encourage deep reflection and creative engagement with impacts of climate change and strategies to build climate adaptation and resilience – not only from the writers themselves, but also from readers of the works.

This project will provide three imaginative and engaging written responses to the City of Hobart’s work on climate adaptation. The articles or stories will inspire greater personal engagement with the topic, not only with their immediate audience in the magazine, but also with event participants, and in the longer term through permanent, free public accessibility online.

A key component of urban sustainability is future-proofing the city, and its natural and cultural heritage, from climate impacts. This requires encouraging the community to recognise and understand climate change and its impacts, and creatively engaging the community in imagining strategies for climate adaptation and resilience.

The three works will be published, read, and discussed by a broad community in Hobart and beyond, raising awareness about environmental sustainability, climate change and mitigation. By translating what can seem ‘theoretical’ information into richly imagined and personalised interpretations, writers and readers may be challenged and motivated into greater climate-related activity.

Ultimately, greater public response to and engagement with issues of climate adaptation will support community resilience and longer term community health and safety, and support the City of Hobart’s efforts to provide climate-related information and programs.