Two Degrees is a climate fiction short story collection.
About: Lina and Logan Olazabal are the head editors of the Two Degrees Anthology. This contest was created to lead climate-change based discussions to help create change within a nation’s legislature and society regarding the impacts of climate change.
Nia’s story Star Chaser was selected as a winner and her story Waves and Spells was selected as a high honorable mention.
Sofi Igyan and Karen Zhang, Nia’s classmates, also each won an honorable mention. Read their stories here and here. Visit the anthology’s website here.
Q & A
How did you feel when you found out that your story had been selected as a winner?
I was very surprised. My teacher had suggested that I enter, but I wasn’t expecting to win anything or get into the anthology. Once I was emailed, I was very honored. I will definitely enter more writing competitions in the future, even if I don’t think that I will win. I am very thankful to the editors for this great opportunity!
What was your inspiration for writing these stories?
I actually wrote them as part of my Climate Fiction Writing class. Waves and Spells was part of a “Fiction of the Here and Now” project where we were supposed to write a story inspired by current events influenced by climate change. I decided to learn a bit about another country, so I had the story take place in the Philippines. I had read that they have had heightened typhoons and other natural disasters, so I based the story off of that.
We were allowed to write our last story of the class on anything (related to climate change), so I came up with Star Chaser, a story with the idea that in the future, our planet won’t even be inhabitable.
Overall, I wanted to weave my thoughts and beliefs about climate change into the stories that I wrote. I also tried to convey a sense of hope within the pieces. I think that we should have more climate-related literature because the climate crises is one of the most pressing issues of the world today.
Which story, Star Chaser or Waves and Spells, do you prefer?
I actually prefer Waves and Spells over Star Chaser. I really like Belen as a character and her interactions and relationships with the people in her community. I think that the lengthy exposition adds to the development of the characters and the setting. There is a theme of community and family as well as hopelessness from someone who cannot do much to solve climate change, but is very affected by it and wants others to act. However, I also like Star Chaser and had a lot of fun writing it.
Will you be writing any more climate fiction in the future?
I cannot say for certain. I usually need motivation to write. I find it very hard to come up with an entire plot, but I understand that the more I write, the easier it will get. I definitely think it is a possibility. If you have any ideas, let me know. 🙂
Is there anything that you would change about the stories?
There was a deadline for each story since they were part of projects. I wouldn’t change much, but if I had more time, in Waves and Spells, I would elaborate further on the interactions between the characters. Since I needed to reach the climax relatively quickly, I was not able to focus on that as much as I wanted to. I also think that, in terms of both stories, it would have been great to have some more peer editing/suggestions from others.
What tips do you have for anyone who is writing (or wanting to write) climate fiction?
I would suggest that you have a purpose for writing. It is much easier to write if you have a purpose for writing and you are passionate about the subject you are writing about.