Stories can shape how we see the world and how we behave. So, it makes sense that – through their stories – writers can encourage readers to bring about change.
The Anthology Project adopts this premise and develops initiatives with interested partners to produce content and engaging information that inspire local communities.
The Anthology Project (Tirol)
In September 2023, along with our Sponsors and Communication Partners, we are encouraging students in Tirol to think differently about the climate crisis.
Through the writing and publishing of positive short stories about life in Tirol in 2050, our aim is to inspire hope, reduce fears, and promote action within our society that contributes to climate change mitigation.
The inaugural short story (cli-fi) contest was launched in September 2022. The winning story, called The Blue Tarp, was written by Elea Fleißner, a pupil at Katholischen Bildungsanstalt für Elementarpädagogik in Innsbruck.
The 2023/24 Short Story contest is now open.
Winner of the Cli-Fi Short Story Contest 2022/23
* Elea Fleißner’s story The Blue Tarp *
The Blue Tarp, a story about a boy called Finn who lives in a world where it is forbidden to cut down trees and plastic does not exist, has won The Climate Fiction Short Story Contest (English) 2022/23.
The Editorial panel and the 4 Judges from academia and business, unanimously agreed that Elea’s story was an outstanding submission.
“Elea has written a nostalgic story that opens a space for a conversation about what happened in the past and what happens now,” said The Anthology Project founder, Leanne Mills. “The judges and I were all impressed with Elea’s ability to write such an engaging and well-crafted story in English. We’re delighted to award her the €500 prize as the winner of 2022’s Climate Fiction Contest in English,” Mills said.
Judge Professor Dr Dorothee Birke, Chair of Anglophone Literatures, University Innsbruck said, “This is beautifully done!”
Judge Rebecca Sandbichler, Editor-in-Chief, 20er said, “The writer has developed the plot very well within the small word count; it is a page turner!”
Judge Dr Antje Bierwisch, MCI Professor and ‘Futures Literacy’ expert said, “The author gives us an exciting view of her generation…she sheds light on the responsibility we have as a society in dealing with new technologies and their possible long-term consequences.”
The winner, Elea Fleißner, said: “I’m super excited and want to say thank you to everyone who took the time to read my story. I look forward to spending my prize on travelling this summer.”
The Blue Tarp is available below.
The Short Story Contest 2023/24
Looking from the future: the case for hope in 2050
Think differently about the climate crisis. Imagine your ideal/utopian life in the year 2050, when all problems of unsustainability have been solved. Write a short story that inspires hope, reduces fear, and promotes action within our society.
Prizes include a Brand New Laptop from alpenEDV and cash of €450.
All information about the project – including inspirational prompts, downloadable template, and upload instructions – explained in English and in German, can be found at Tirol 2050.
Analysing hopes and fears for the future
Adults tend to extrapolate their present day lives to create visions of the future, but do younger people imagine their lives through a different lense?
A team at MCI are planning to try and answer this question by conducting a research study on all short stories that are submitted through the Climate Fiction Contests.
The study – conducted by a team of professors and Bachelor students – will analyse explicit and implicit categories of content within the stories to identify patterns of perceptions, scenarios, and expectations that occur.
The results of the quantitative data analysis will support the work of MCI’s Dr Antje Bierwisch. Through her Foresight & Futures Literacy work, she inspires students to innovate and anticipate in order to transform the future.
Read more about this fascinating study!
The Anthology Project is the brainchild of Leanne Mills, a British-Australian Professional Writer living in Hall-in-Tirol.
“Being the Editor of The Anthology Project allows me to blend my passion for writing and editing with my goal of making a difference in the face of climate disruption.”
Leanne is also theenglishwordsmith.com who helps Austrian businesses communicate in English with their international customers. She has more than 30 years of experience working with business and government organisations in Australia, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the UK.
With a passion for promoting positive visions of the future, Leanne collaborates with Klimafit Österreich, a climate consultancy that helps organisations, groups and individuals talk about and tackle today’s sustainability challenges.
Ideas, inspiration, insights
The lonely house rested on the steep side of the mountain. Surrounded by lavish green for one half of the year, hidden in the depths of snow for the other, it was known as a place of shelter to the people in the nearby villages. The wood the lonely house was made of,...
Elea Fleißner grew up around stories. She loved nothing more than playing make-believe and listening to her grandmother’s captivating childhood tales. When Elea created The Blue Tarp as her submission for The Anthology Project 2022, it was the first time in many years...
Dr Bierwisch is an intentional changemaker. Through her Foresight and Futures Literacy work at MCI, she inspires students to innovate, anticipate and shape the future.
As one of the Judges for the Climate Fiction Contest & Anthology Project, Dr Antje Bierwisch will read, enjoy, and – along with a panel of other Judges – choose winning entries from the Climate Fiction stories submitted.
A team at MCI are planning to find out! The aim of the MCI study is to identify recurring patterns of thought, ideas about the future, clusters of ideas, and contexts of meaning and argumentation structures across all stories submitted through the Climate Fiction Contest & Anthology Project. Read more…
Dr Som’s work in Strategic Foresight encourages Bachelor and Masters students, and executive leaders, to use free-thinking to stimulate innovation and positively impact the future.
In September 2022, Dr Antje Bierwisch (a Judge of our Climate Fiction short-story contest) delivered the first Futures Literacy Laboratory at the 9th Responsible Management Education Research (RMER) Conference at MCI, Innsbruck. The Labs encourage students to co-create the meaning of sustainability, peace and inclusion where people live, work and play. See Dr Bierwisch’s post on LinkedIn.
If you have questions, comments, or ideas for collaboration, please get in touch.