Writing Prize 2021
Writing Prize 2021

Sustainability First Writing Prize 2021

The Sustainability First Writing Prize 2021 is open to all living British writers and international writers living, working, or studying in the UK, over the age of 18 years. This year's theme is: 'Together for a Fair Climate Future.' We want to hear writers’ imaginative visions, creative ideas and practical steps for societal change, with pieces of writing that respond to the question:

“How do we achieve meaningful social changes in the UK to tackle the climate crisis and develop a fairer society?“

Writing could include, but is not limited to, an article, a personal account, an essay, a short story, or a poem. Written entries will need to look at both climate change and fairness in society. We particularly invite suggestions for how to challenge existing structures and achieve wider behavioural, social, cultural and/or systems changes in a constructive and practical way.

The writer of the winning piece of writing will receive a prize of £1,000 with £500 for second prize and £300 for third prize. Maximum length 2000 words. Shorter contributions will be welcomed and not penalized.

The deadline for applications is: 10 July 2021 at 23:00.

We have brought together a high profile panel of judges spanning writing and sustainability including:

  • James Cameron - Climate Advisor and Friend of COP
  • Banseka Kayembe - Freelance Writer and Founder and Director of Naked Politics
  • Serayna Solanki - Climate and Environmental Justice Advocate
  • Selina Nwulu - Writer, Former Young Poet Laureate for London and Independent Consultant in Social and Climate Justice
  • Nicola Shaw – President, UK Networks, National Grid
  • Naresh Ramchandani - Co-Founder, Do The Green Thing and Partner, Pentagram

The judging criteria will include:

- Relevance to the theme “Together for a Fair Climate Future”;
- Creativity, style and clarity of writing;
- Impact of written work;
- Identification of key issues and recommendations (if appropriate to the style of writing);
- Effectiveness of the writing in drawing from imagination, personal lived experience and/or evidence.

These criteria are a guide and may not apply in the same way to different writing styles. We plan to hold an online prize-giving event as part of a wider conference on 21-22 September 2021, with a digital exhibition and virtual book of shortlisted works.

To apply – please complete our online application form before the deadline: 10 July 2021 at 23:00, and review the rules for entry. For further information, please contact: writingprize@sustainabilityfirst.org.uk 

Sustainable Futures Programme

The Art and Writing Prizes are part of Sustainability First’s Sustainable Futures programme. The programme focuses on how we can recover from the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that’s fair, innovative, and positive for the environment, including in the lead up to the international UN climate change conference COP26 taking place in Glasgow, in November 2021. Sustainable Futures is developing imaginative visions for social, environmental, and economic wellbeing.

As well as the Art and Writing Prizes, the programme includes a series of six online discussion events focusing on how action for the climate crisis and social justice can come together; schools outreach workshops; work with artists in communities along the North Sea; a conference on culture change; and culminating in a call to action at COP26 itself.

This work is being funded by the National Grid, one of the COP26 official Principal Partners.

Project partner

national grid