october, 2019

31oct1:00 am1:00 amFeaturedAftermath Short Story ContestInternational Entry Fee: Free
Max word count: 5,000
Top Prize: $1,000

Event Details

The good response to our first contest has prompted us to repeat it in 2019. Not only because the unabated destruction of our environment has made an early end of our civilization likelier than ever, but also because many story-telling opportunities were left unused in the previous contest.

The whole point of this magazine is to raise awareness of the harm that we are doing to our planet and the dire consequences this will have. Our fact sheet lists many of the threats facing our environment and society. We are heading for multiple apocalyptic disasters, not in the distant future but in a matter of decades, if we are lucky, or years, if we are not.

All prior calamities will pale into insignificance when the house of cards that we call our civilization collapses. We have little to fall back on, no plan B, just a depleted planet that can feed only a fraction of humanity when all our excessive and unsustainable attainments fail.

Climate change alone will have a devastating effect. We know that rising temperatures are going to cause ever greater natural disasters. Extreme weather will make large parts of the world uninhabitable for humans. This will mean mass migrations, on a scale never seen before. These people will be truly desperate, with nothing to lose, nothing to go back to, making them unstoppable.

The world economy, largely based on debt as it is, will not survive these natural and social disasters. It will implode, aggravating all other problems.

The notion that in the end, like in the movies, we shall solve all these problems because we are so clever is flatly contradicted by the fact that we created these problems in the first place. A truly clever species would never have let that happen. Now it’s too late. Several apocalyptic events cannot be prevented anymore, even if we wanted to try, which we obviously don’t, because it will cost money. The only question now is how we are going to emerge from these disasters: with some remnants of civilization or as cave men and cave women.

These facts should offer the creative writer a wealth of inspiration. All the ingredients for high drama are here: floods, fires, droughts, famines, violent migrations, wars of survival, cannibalism, et cetera.

What we don’t like to see are stories that ignore the manmade causes of our downfall and simply embark on wild post-apocalyptic fantasies. They have no cautionary value. And that is ultimately what all this is about. An attempt to bring humans to their senses, by conceiving the inconceivable, showing them what they are doing and what this is going to do to them and their loved ones.

Being a non-profit organization we don’t have lots of money to throw around. Nevertheless we offer US$1,000 for the winner, US$300 for the runner-up and US$100 for number 3. There may also be some hideous trophies and a little fame, but most of all the satisfaction of making a contribution to the welfare of our planet and all its inhabitants.<

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