The “Sustaining Stories” Writing Contest
This contest is part of the 2022 Centre County Reads/CALS Community Read of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, in which Kimmerer argues that the recuperation of indigenous knowledge and ways of living is necessary to sustain the long-term health of our environment. Rather than exploiting the land as a resource, which has contributed to wide-scale environmental degradation, we must instead cultivate a reciprocal relationship to the land we depend on. Essential to this project of mutual sustainability, Kimmerer suggests, are stories that upend our human-centered approach to nature as an inactive object at our disposal.
In the spirit of this reorientation, enter your best example of writing that centers nature as an active subject, a teacher of sustainability rather than an object of appropriation. Submit your piece of 7,500 words or less for competition in one of the following categories: Best Short Fiction, Best Nonfiction, Best Poetry, and Best Entry for a Writer under 18. The deadline for all submissions is February 21, 2022.
The overall winner will receive a $300 Grand Prize, and additional prizes will be given to the winner of each category. Please send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org and include a cover letter with your name, address, contact information, a brief biography, and contest category. Winning entries to be displayed at Schlow Centre Region Library and www.cals.la.psu.edu.