Storyfest 2018 – Competition Closed

Storyfest 2018 - Competition Closed

Tell an inspiring story to move the Planet Forward

Enter to win our Storyfest Award

Grand Prize: A storytelling trip to Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions and Alaska Airlines!

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See the Storyfest 2018 grand prize winners!

See ALL of the 2018 Storyfest entries.

Check out last year’s Storyfest 
winners &

In every corner of the planet, amazing people are working hard to figure out solutions to the environment’s biggest challenges. But if no one hears the stories, progress will be slower.

To amplify these stories, annually we host The Planet Forward Storyfest Awards, which recognize the best and most compelling student-told stories illuminating environmental issues and solutions.

The winning submissions represent the best examples of storytelling that make complex issues or ideas better understood. 

The Planet Forward Storyfest Awards are looking for both substance in the story and creative execution. Be memorable. Have impact. Have fun.

How To Enter

First, select a topic or topics, and address a question:

  • Food: How can we feed the planet, grow better food, stop wasting so much of it?
  • Water: How should we use it, conserve it, clean it, get it to places that don’t have enough of it?
  • Energy: What are new ways to generate it, make it cleaner, use it more efficiently?
  • Mobility: What’s a better way to get around, reduce congestion, minimize the impact on the environment and the climate?
  • The built environment: To build for the future, what are new materials, technologies or design that will make better homes, offices, neighborhoods and cities?
  • Biodiversity: How do we preserve and foster our vital ecosystems?

Next, review the award categories and see where your story might fit:

  • Most Compelling Character: The story of a character, told in a compelling way, is one of the key elements to a great story, no matter the topic. This prize will go to the story that best exemplifies this element.
  • Most Creativity in the Art of Environmental Storytelling: This prize will go to the story that most creatively tells an environmental story, either through media format or storytelling technique.
  • Best Use of Science or Data in Environmental Storytelling: This prize exemplifies explanatory storytelling, telling the story behind an innovation or using data to convey a story.
  • Best Scalable Innovation: This prize will go to the best story about a scalable and inspiring innovation that has the greatest chance to change the world within the next five years.
  • Most Ambitious Idea: Steve Jobs was a dreamer. Thomas Edison was an inspired inventor. Tell a story about what today’s dream teams are working on for the future.
  • The GW Prize: This prize will go to the best story in any of the previous categories coming from a George Washington University student.

Finally, choose the medium that best conveys the story you’re sharing — audio, visual, video, text or a combination. Then, get started!

2018 Grand Prize

Grand prize winners will fly to Alaska courtesy Alaska Airlines and then travel with Lindblad Expeditions for a once-in-a-lifetime storytelling expedition aboard the National Geographic Sea Lion this summer, exploring the incredible ecosystems of Alaska between Sitka and Juneau. Accompany Planet Forward founder and former CNN Washington Bureau Chief Frank Sesno on this 62-guest ship, led by a team of five naturalists plus an expedition leader. The ship’s expert team will host talks, as well as offer guidance ashore, while Sesno will be your editorial guide to help shape the stories that will come from the experience.


Entries will be judged in four areas:

  1. Quality of information and production
  2. Creativity in presentation
  3. Impact of storytelling
  4. Scalability of the innovation shared

All submitted work will be reviewed by a committee of journalists and sustainability experts not affiliated with Planet Forward.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! – Friday, March 9, 2018, at 11:59 PM ET


1. Draft your story on the Planet Forward website.

2. Complete the Storyfest Entry Form.

Official Rules


(Photo at top by Rennett Stowe/Creative Commons 2.0)