Madeleine Bunting to chair major new literary award – The Climate Fiction Prize -to launch at Hay Festival 2024

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Posted 2 weeks ago

‘The climate crisis asks us to imagine other forms of human existence—a task to which fiction is the best suited of all cultural forms… This initiative [The Climate Fiction Prize] marks the advent of a new awareness of the environment within the literary community.’ Amitav Ghosh, author and winner of the Erasmus Prize 2024.

● The Climate Fiction Prize will be awarded to the best novel-length work of fiction published in the UK engaging with the climate crisis
● The Prize will be the first major award of its kind to acknowledge the rapid rise of Climate Fiction as a genre in its own right amid recognition of the power of storytelling to address the crisis
● The Prize, supported by Climate Spring, is worth £10,000 and will be awarded in Spring 2025
● Five judges including the Chair have so far been appointed from across the literary and climate worlds

A new, major literary award, The Climate Fiction Prize, supported by its partner, the climate storytelling organisation Climate Spring, will launch at The Hay Festival this June. The Prize’s aim will be to showcase novels of powerful literary merit and to solidify, grow and expand fiction that engages with the climate crisis.
The prize’s inaugural year will bring together a stellar panel of judges from the literary and climate worlds. Its chair, renowned writer and journalist, Madeleine Bunting, will be joined by fellow judges; climate justice activist and writer, Tori Tsui, broadcaster and writer David Lindo aka the ‘Urban Birder’, non-fiction author Nicola Chester (On Gallows Down, shortlisted for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize) and Andy Fryers, Hay Festival’s Sustainability Director. They will all appear in a panel event to launch the prize to the public at Hay Festival on Sunday 2nd June 2024.


Chair of judges, Madeleine Bunting said:
“Change starts with the imagination and no subject so urgently needs new stories of repair and care than the climate crisis, and the value of this prize is to recognise new talent and help promote it to a wider audience, provoking debate and stimulating others authors to tackle this vital task of imagining what’s possible.”
Lucy Stone, Founder and Executive Director of Climate Spring said: “We are thrilled to be supporting the world’s first literary prize for climate fiction, celebrating innovative writers with new stories. We are in a moment of cultural paralysis where concerns about climate lead to despair not action. Fiction can unlock this paralysis; through storytelling we step into another person’s shoes, or feel empowered by imagining more compelling visions of the future. The climate story isn’t only a story of damage but is a story about the transformation and repair of ourselves as much as the environment.

Website and social: ClimateFictionPrize.com / X: @Climate_Fiction / Instagram: @ClimateFictionPrize

ull Ts&Cs and submissions details will be available from June 2024.