This year’s Imagine 2200 short story contest is now closed for submissions. We look forward to sharing the winning stories in early 2025. Sign up for email updates to see the collection as soon as it’s released.

Imagine 2200 is an invitation to writers from all over the globe to imagine a future in which solutions to the climate crisis flourish and help bring about radical improvements to our world. We dare you to dream anew. [Get Imagine updates: Sign up for our email list]

We are thrilled to also announce the judges for our 2024/25 contest: Omar El Akkad and Annalee Newitz. El Akkad is an author and journalist whose award-winning debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. Newitz is a science fiction and nonfiction writer whose third novel, The Terraformers is a finalist for the Nebula Award, and whose latest nonfiction book, Four Lost Cities, is a national bestseller.

The premise

Imagine 2200 celebrates stories that envision the next decades to centuries of equitable climate progress, imagining futures of abundance, adaptation, reform, and hope. We are looking for stories that are rooted in creative climate solutions and community-centered resilience, showing what can happen as solutions take root, and stories that offer gripping plots with rich characters and settings, making that future come alive.

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In 2,500 to 5,000 words, show us the world you dream of building.

Your story should be set sometime between the near future and roughly the year 2200.

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A great Imagine story is not afraid to explore the challenges ahead — the path to climate progress will involve struggle and adaptation, and we invite you to show that — but ultimately offers hope that we can work together to build a more sustainable and just world. We want to see stories that incorporate real world climate solutions and climate science, as well as cultural authenticity (a deep sense of place, customs, cuisine, and more) and characters with fully-fledged identities. We especially want to read — and share — stories that center solutions and voices from the communities most impacted by the climate crisis. 

If you’re newer to climate, below this prompt we’ve included some resources to get you started in finding inspiration from existing solutions. Feel free to use these as a jumping off point, or to bring in any climate and justice solutions you find inspiring.

Your story can bring these principles into any genre — we love seeing climate themes show up in love stories, mysteries, adventure, comedy, and more. Climate connects to every part of life, and all sorts of stories can be climate stories, so dream big — envision a world where climate solutions have flourished, and where we prioritize our well-being, work to mend our communities, and lead lives that celebrate our humanity. We can’t wait to read what you come up with.

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There is no cost to enter. Submissions close June 24, 2024, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Pacific Time.

The winning writer will be awarded $3,000. The second- and third-place winners receive $2,000 and $1,000, respectively. An additional nine finalists will each receive $300. All winners and finalists will have their story published in an immersive collection on Grist’s website.

We are also partnering with Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project, which will offer the winning writer (or a runner-up, in the case the winner cannot accept) the opportunity to participate in its Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency, including a writing residency at the Cabin at Shotpouch Creek for the winner to spend up to four weeks in residence to continue their climate writing project. The Fellow will receive a $3,000 honorarium from Spring Creek Project.

Stories will be reviewed by a panel of experts, and judged by acclaimed authors Omar El Akkad and Annalee Newitz.

Your submission must be an original fictional story of between 2,500 and 5,000 words that has not been previously published. The full contest rules are available on our submission portal. 

Get inspired

Here are some past Imagine 2200 stories to look to for inspiration and how to apply this prompt:

Explore climate solutions

Newer to climate and climate solutions? Check out solutions already in motion across the U.S. for some inspiration, or dive into these examples of solutions and adaptations to get you started — just some of the many topics in climate and justice to explore:

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we’ve answered some FAQs to explain the concepts that drive this project. If you’re ready to start writing, head straight to our submissions portal.

And if you’d like to get in touch or have additional questions, you can reach us at imaginefiction [at]

Q. What are the origins of the Imagine contest?

A. Imagine was originally born as part of a visioning exercise in the spring of 2020. You can read more about its origins in this essay

The contest aims to counter dystopian narratives and ensure that climate stories and characters represent diverse voices, authentic cultures, and the intersectional reality of the climate crisis. Imagine was inspired and informed by literary movements like Afrofuturism and Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, disabled, queer, and feminist futurisms, along with hopepunk and solarpunk. We hope Imagine writers of all genres look to these movements for inspiration.

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Q. Can I submit a story longer than 5,000 words?

A. We’re excited that you’re excited, but the submission guidelines are not flexible. Stories need to be between 2,500 and 5,000 words. 

Q. Does my story need to be set in the year 2200?

A. Nope! We’d be just as happy to see your visions of amazing, just, and decolonized worlds in 2136 or 2098. We just want to encourage writers to think well beyond our present moment and with a sense of expansive possibility. We do consider stories set in the near future as long as they are forward-thinking about what that future could look like.  

Q. Can my story include supernatural or fantastical elements?

A. Sure! Of course, like everything in your story, it should serve a purpose towards the aim of inspiring readers to envision the world we could create. We’re open to magical realism, spiritual elements, and supernatural twists, especially where they’re culturally significant.

Q. TBH, I’m not that hopeful about the future of the planet. Can my story be grimdark and apocalyptic?

A. We get it. The world can seem pretty dark these days. That’s why it’s so important to make space for visions of a future worth fighting for. We firmly believe in the power of imagination to help set our compass toward a better world. We’re not saying you need to feign optimism, but bear in mind that hope is one of the core elements we’ll be reading for. And hope takes many forms. We know that achieving a clean, green, and just future will require the sustained efforts of many people, some conflict, and a whole lot of adaptation. We invite you to show those aspects in your story as well.   

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Q. Is there a cost to enter the contest?

A. Zero dollars!

Q. Who can submit? Are there any restrictions on age, geography, etc.?

A. Writers must be at least 18 years old to submit to Imagine 2200. The contest is open to folks anywhere in the world, except where participation is prohibited or restricted by applicable law. Stories do need to be written in English. 

Q. Can a submission have more than one author?

A. We do accept co-authored stories. Only one of the co-authors should submit the story — the submission form will offer a way to list the other co-author(s). If we select a co-authored story for publication, all authors will be credited and prize money will be divided between them.

Q. Do authors keep the rights to their stories?

A. Yes, authors maintain the copyright and ownership of their stories.

Grist will have the right to publish and distribute your story on our site and with partners if you are a winner or finalist. 

We use those rights to publish a digital collection of the winning and finalist stories, including audio versions of each story, and distribute some stories and audio with partner sites and publications. You are welcome to republish or sell your story elsewhere once the collection is published – we simply ask for a credit line indicating that the work first appeared in Grist’s Imagine 2200 collection. 

We also ask for 12 months of exclusive print anthology rights to publish winning and finalist stories in a print version of the collection (like our Afterglow anthology). If we do publish such an anthology, all included authors receive a share of the advance and any royalties. 

If you are not a winner or finalist, we retain no rights to your story after you are notified of the result, which we aim to do in as timely a manner as possible. See all the information about rights and licensing in our full official rules.

See all the information about rights and licensing in our full official rules.

Q. OK, I’m in! How do I submit a story, and how can I help spread the word?

A. Woo-hoo! For more complete guidelines and criteria, head to our submissions portal. If you’d like to help get the word out or have a question we haven’t answered, drop us a note at imaginefiction [at]

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Q. What is Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project and its Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency?

A. Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project partners with regional or nonprofit organizations to support a writer through its Environmental Writing Fellowship and Residency program. The organization will offer the winner of Imagine this fellowship opportunity, which includes an honorarium of $3,000 and up to four weeks in residence at Shotpouch Cabin in the Oregon Coast Range.

In the event that the winner cannot take advantage of this opportunity, as determined by the winner and/or Oregon State University staff, it will be offered to the second-prize winner, and then to the third-prize winner, and then to finalists in order of their judges’ ranking.

Q. How can I learn more about Imagine and cli-fi at Grist?

A. Check out our About page for more information and to see past contest winners and collections. Or sign up for our email list to get updates on Imagine contests and publications.