Share Africa Cli-Fi Award: Open for Submissions

Climate Fiction Project

‘When done correctly, Cli-Fi can connect people to their world; it can help us
understand what future climate may be like, or what current climate effects are.’ –
John Abraham, The Guardian


Botswana Society for Human Development (BSHD) was founded in October 2013 and licensed by the Botswana government on March 10, 2014. In June 2014, BSHD became a Member of the Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO).

The NGO was co-founded by a group of young women who in December 2012 were selected by the Mpule Kwelagobe Institute to make up 40 of the young African females to take part in the Network of Women Investing in Africa (NEW Africa) Leadership Program. Since establishment, the NGO has a minor male membership and a number of registered volunteers.

Our mission: To create and support personal and sustainable development opportunities.
Our vision: To significantly advance endogenous, sustainable socio-economic development across varied sectors.
For more about us, and our previous projects please visit:


Project name: Share Africa Cli-Fi Award
Cli-Fi refers to climate fiction. This is a new fiction genre making waves across the globe. It is a new way to talk about climate change. In 2011, freelance writer Dan Bloom coined the term cli-fi in a press release for Jim Laughter’s Polar City Red, a novel set amid climate refugees in a future Alaska. To date, the genre is more urgent and popular than ever, given the global climate change phenomena threatening human rights.
The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report for one, posits that Africa has contributed among the least to greenhouse gas emissions, yet key development sectors have already experienced widespread loss and damage attributable to anthropogenic climate change. These misfortunes include biodiversity loss, water shortages, reduced food production, loss of lives and reduced economic growth. Hence the acute need for dialogue and engagement in every form, targeting all age groups, for the sake of community resilience, and climate resilient development. The proposed project, a creative response to climate change as a run-up to COP27 in Egypt, can no doubt contribute towards that realisation, and significantly advance Sustainable Development Goal 13.

Why Africa:
Climate change cannot be tackled in isolation, this project therefore believes it is vital for us to inform ourselves of other people’s perspectives, concerns, and be motivated.

Project objectives:
i. To document history
ii. To inspire climate change dialogue and engagement in Africa’s adaptation and mitigation efforts by e.g. farmers, tourism operators, innovators etc.
iii. To make people aware of their changing environment
iv. To highlight common themes in Africa’s climate change experience
v. To make climate change experiences more real than graphs or plots of
temperature variations.
vi. To share climate change information that is grounded in science and truth
vii. To create a permanent home for cli-fi currently being written in Africa
Winning stories are those that will present real science in a credible, fun and easy way
to comprehend.

Stories can:
i. Explore life in an age of climate change incensed droughts, heat waves, floods,season shift etc.
ii. Explore the role of Africans (i.e. individuals or corporations) in contributing to global warming e.g. pollution.
iii. Question and/or applaud climate change, environmental, energy etc. policies
iv. Imagine the future if temperatures continue to rise
v. Urge readers to imagine what climate change experiences are or would be like.
vi. Plainly lay out what is reality and what is not, in a world filled with lies and fantasy and fiction surrounding the truth.

Project approach:
2.1 To ensure maximum authenticity and impact, the Share Africa Cli-Fi Award competition will be run in the following manner:

a. Vigorous publicity of the competition synopsis and guidelines; entry requirements, eligibility, entry terms and conditions, judging, copyright and terms of use, administration and communication will be carried out through various forms of media such as press releases, online literary magazines, the BSHD website, social media and through media platforms of BSHD project partners.

2.2 Confirmed project webinar speakers and competition judges include:

i) Dan Bloom: Born and raised in Massachusetts, Dan Bloom is a 1971 graduate of Tufts University in Boston where he majored in postmodern European literature. He also attended Oregon State University where he worked on a masters degree in the Speech and Communications Department and was a graduate teaching assistant. Dan worked as a journalist in Alaska for 12 years in the 1970s and 1980s, and later worked as a newspaper editor and reporter at English-language newspapers in Japan and Taiwan in the 1990s.

ii) Sophie Mbugua: She is a Science Journalist specialising in climate change reporting based in Nairobi, Kenya. Sophie spends her days shaping the African climate change narrative through radio, photography, online articles, social media and helping organisations bridge climate change communication gaps by facilitating and coordinating their press relations.

iii) Samuel Kọ́láwọlé: He was born and raised in Ibadan, Nigeria and his work has appeared in AGNI, Harvard Review, Georgia Review, The Hopkins Review, Gulf Coast, Washington Square Review, The Evergreen Review amongst other literary journals. His fiction has been supported with fellowships, residencies, and scholarships from the Norman Mailer Centre, International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, Columbus State University’s Carson McCullers Center for Writers and Musicians, Clarion West Writers Workshop, Wellstone Centre in the Redwoods California, and Island Institute. Kọ ́láwọlé studied at the University of Ibadan and holds a Master of Arts degree in Creative Writing with distinction from Rhodes University, South Africa. A graduate of the MFA in Writing and Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, he returned to VCFA to join the Faculty of the low-residency MFA program. His novel is forthcoming from Amistad/Harper
Collins. Kọ ́láwọlé teaches full-time at Pennsylvania State University where he is a tenure track Assistant Professor of English.

iv) Cheryl S. Ntumy: She is a Ghanaian writer of fiction in various genres, including speculative fiction, young adult fiction and romance. Her work has appeared in The Goddess of Mtwara and Other Stories; Will This be a Problem; Petlwana Journal of Creative Writing; Botswana Women Write and Apex Magazine, among others. Her novel They Made Us Blood and Fury was nominated for a Nommo Award in 2022.

v) Uche Peter Umezurike: He is an assistant professor of English at the University of Calgary. An alumnus of the International Writing Program (USA), Umezurike is a co-editor of Wreaths for Wayfarers, an anthology of poems. He is the author of Wish Maker (Masobe Books, 2021) and Double Wahala, Double Trouble (Griots Lounge Publishing, 2021). His poetry collection, there’s more, is forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press in spring 2023.

2.3 Judging
The award aims to support and award excellence in the climate fiction genre, hence judging of the award will be as follows:

Stage 1: All entries will be whittled down to a longlist of twenty (20) entrants by volunteer readers sourced from across the continent. Subsequent judging will be undertaken by a team of established writers against the Award criterion.

Stage 2: The judging panel will shortlist 10 stories, and pick their 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winning stories, then submit a short report, less than one page.

Stage 3: Shortlisted and winning writers will be contacted by email before the results are published.
The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. The judging will be fair and independent. The judging panel will be appointed by BSHD and its strategic partners and/or sponsors.

2.4 Publication & Awards
i. Shortlisted and winning stories will be published on the WiD News website. The collection will also be anthologised in a book to be published by BSHD and partners.

ii. Copies of the book will be distributed to government ministries, international development stakeholders, and national archives, among other bodies that are advancing the climate change fight.

iii. Hard copies will also be sold at a donation price to buyers everywhere. Funds raised will be re-invested into the next project, making it sustainable.

The Awards:
Winning Story
• USD1000

Second Place
• USD500

Third Place
• USD200

2.5 Eligibility and entry rules

Entry is open to all Africans citizens

-There is no age limit

-Entries must be made by the writer. An exception will be made for those below the age of 18.

-Submissions should be sent to: with the subject “Share Africa/Title of Short Story”

-Entrants are advised to enter the COP27 in Africa: Share Africa Cli-Fi Award writing webinar scheduled for August 15, 2022.

The deadline for receipt of entries is September 5, 2022. Winners will be announced on October 17, 2022.

-Only one entry, 3000 words max., per writer may be submitted.

-The story must be the entrant’s own work.

-The story must be original and should not have been previously published anywhere in full or in part, or on any media platform.

-All entries must be in English.

-All entries should be submitted in Times New Roman 12-point font and double line spacing. Entries should be attached as Microsoft Word documents.

-The writer’s full name, nationality, email address and phone number should only appear in the body of email. Entries will be judged blindly.

-Entrants agree as a condition of entry that the prize organisers may publicise the fact that a story has been entered and/or shortlisted for the prize.

-Worldwide copyright of each story or poem remains with the writer. BSHD will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning and shortlisted stories and poems in a compilation, on their web and social sites, and for promotional purposes.

-The overall winners and runners-up will be expected by BSHD and its Partners to take part in publicity activities where possible, including social media.

The deadline for receipt of entries is September 5, 2022.

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