Call for cli-fi stories for charity anthology

Help tackle climate change with your stories

Charity anthology of climate fiction stories

As well as writing fiction and running Retreat West I am a freelance journalist writing about environmental sustainability. I’ve been working in this field for almost 20 years and in that time things have got a lot worse. But they’ve also got a lot better in terms of the creative solutions that people are coming up with and the awareness of the issues we face.

Two of my most recent articles on the subject: The vanishing islands of the Pacific and the very sobering 2 billion climate refugees within 83 years, as well as two more that are being published soon about food security and vanishing coral reefs, have made me realise I need to do more to help.

So inspired by the amazing work the Stories for Homes project has done to raise money for Shelter, I’m helping in the only way I know how. Through storytelling. I’m calling for submissions for short stories and flash fictions in the newly emerging cli-fi genre, which is what my new novel fits into. They will be gathered into an anthology and the profits will be donated to the Earth Day Network, which is working to diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide. It also does tangible things like planting trees, lobbying governments, and tackling corporations who are some of the biggest threats to the environment.

I’m also looking for volunteers to help me with this project as it’s a bit too big to handle it all alone. I’d like help with reading submissions and choosing which stories go in the anthology, editing, cover design, proofreading, promotion and marketing. If you’d like to be involved email me to let me know how you can help.

Please also share this far and wide with all the writers you know.

Story Submission Details

Word Count: From 250 to 3,000 words

Deadline: 30th November 2017

Submission guidelines

  • Submit stories written in English through Submittable using the button below by 23.45 GMT on the deadline date (sorry late entries will not be included)
  • Do not include your name on the story or submission title but provide a short bio in the body of the email All stories are read anonymously so any showing the author’s name will be disqualified.
  • Stories must be your own original work and not have been published online or in print, or have won any other competitions (longlisted and shortlisted places in other competitions is fine)
  • By submitting you agree to your story being published in the anthology
  • Simultaneous submissions are allowed but if your story wins a prize or is published prior to the anthology announcement it won’t be included
  • Stories must be for adults – no children’s fiction
  • Only 1 story per writer


Support for Beanstalk

Get great stories for a great cause!

Anthology raising funds for reading charity, Beanstalk

In May 2015 the anthology of winning stories from the 2014 short story and flash fiction competition, Inside These Tangles, Beauty Lies, was published as an e-book. The profits from the sales of this anthology are being donated to Beanstalks, a charity that helps school children with their reading.

I’m delighted to welcome Alexis Nielson to the blog today – she’s Beanstalk’s Individual Giving and Events Officer – to tell us more about what Beanstalk do and why it’s important. Over to you, Alexis.

Beanstalk works to recruit, train and support reading helpers who volunteer in local primary schools to provide one-to-one support to children who are falling behind with their reading. Each reading helper works with three children for a whole three terms, spending half an hour with each child on a twice weekly basis and giving them their undivided attention to help build their confidence and improve their reading attainment.

Their sessions are individually tailored to each child – by ensuring that the child finds the sessions supportive and fun, reading is able to become an enjoyable experience, and the child’s enthusiasm and confidence is able to flourish. One of the key areas of growth in the last two years has been Enfield, where shockingly over 500 children left primary school in 2014 unable to read to the required standard.

Thanks to the support of the community and local funders, Beanstalk are now supporting over 100 children throughout Enfield through the commitment of 34 reading helpers. This is a fantastic achievement, as they had very little presence in the borough three years ago.

Beanstalk’s Volunteer Support Worker for the area told the following story:

I visited one reading helper at an Enfield primary school for an annual visit, where she told me that one child she helped was a selective mute. The reading helper was completely unaware of this when she first started reading with the child as the child spoke to her (albeit quietly and not very confidently). One day the child came to the session having had a fall in the playground and hurt her knee so the reading helper informed the teacher/TA, who kept asking the reading helper how she knew and the reading helper kept telling the teacher/TA that the child had told her. It was only after quite a few sessions after this incident that the reading helper was told by the school that the child was a selective mute and would not speak to the other children or the teacher or the TA and only to the reading helper! At the reading helper’s annual visit, the child was happy to interact with me about the book she was reading and it was hard to believe that she was a selective mute.”

Beanstalk works with children who are already displaying the early signs of the short-term consequences of illiteracy and aims to help children overcome these problems. This is to ensure that more children leave primary school achieving the expected level in reading attainment and displaying a confidence and enjoyment of reading. They aim to prevent children from continuing on a path to long-term disadvantage and the negative long-term consequences of illiteracy.

Beanstalk recently launched their Annual Review and Impact Report for 2013-14, emphasising how specialist one-to-one support by reading helpers is able to transform the skills and confidence of thousands of young children throughout England. The report highlights how 93% of the young children supported by Beanstalk reading helpers during the 2013/14 academic year showed meaningful improvement in their reading level. Furthermore, the report also shows that 74% of the children supported improved their reading ability by at least two reading sub-levels, compared to minimal progress the year before receiving one-to-one support.

It is only through the kindness and generosity of supporters that Beanstalk is able to continue its work and achieve its goal of eradicating childhood illiteracy. So we’d like to thank Retreat West and all of the writers whose stories appear in the anthology for helping us to raise funds to continue our work.

If you would like more information or would consider becoming a Beanstalk reading helper, then visit, call 020 7729 4087 or email

You can buy a copy of the anthology to help raise funds for their works here.