Storyfest 2022 – Contest Closed

Tell an inspiring story to move the Planet Forward

See 2022 Winners

Grand Prize: Travel to Alaska with Lindblad Expeditions to report on the impact of climate change

There is no story more gripping than that of our changing planet — and the solutions to sustain it. While problems ranging from climate justice to conservation, from rising sea levels to increasing heat waves, from the continuing pandemic to our plastic addiction, we’re looking for the stories surrounding the people, ideas, and innovations moving the world toward a greener future.

The Planet Forward Storyfest Awards highlight the voices of students, seeking to understand and illuminate their own innovations for how to best care for the earth. We are looking for stories that inspire, motivate, and drive change. Stories that are compelling, thought-provoking, and vibrantly stimulating. Be memorable, have an impact — and have fun.

The winners will travel with Lindblad Expeditions to Alaska for an exciting opportunity to see and report on the impact of climate change firsthand.

To get inspired for your 2022 entry, check out the Storyfest 2021 winners!

Storyfest shortcuts

See the 2022 finalists!

Check the FAQ!

Award Categories

  • Best Science Narrative: Use science to build a narrative that 1) cites findings that clearly convey an issue or challenge and 2) offers a solution that addresses the issue.
  • Most Compelling Character: Craft a story that revolves around a compelling character, who is working to move the planet forward and making a difference. Highlight the character’s mission and humanity.
  • Most Creative Story: Make exceptional use of ingenious media formats, animation, music, verse, and other original storytelling devices to create a unique and memorable audience experience.
  • Best Use of Science or Data: Tell a story driven by scientific fact and/or quantitative data. Use illustrations, infographics, metaphor, or relatable language to make the story clear and compelling. Build toward an “aha!” moment, a revelation, as if you’re making a discovery or solving a mystery.
  • Best Scalable Innovation: Reveal a scalable and inspiring innovation that has the greatest chance to change the world within the next five years. Think big. Go long.

What formats are accepted?

Your story can be in a variety of media, including written article, video, audio, and/or photo essay. Full details on format requirements are in the Official Rules.

What can my story be about?

We’re looking for stories about ideas and innovations that can move the planet forward. Untold stories. Misunderstood stories. And little-known ideas, people, and breakthroughs that can make a difference, have impact, inform, and inspire. These are the topic areas we’re hoping you will explore, and can reflect your studies, research, work, experience, or dreams:

  • 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 get 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? What has changed since the pandemic, for better or worse, and how can we look forward?
  • The built environment: How should we build for the future? What are the new materials, technologies or designs that will make better homes, offices, neighborhoods, cities and towns? How has the pandemic changed our view of city life?
  • Biodiversity: How do we preserve and foster our vital ecosystems?
  • Public health: What impact and takeaways can the environmental movement utilize from the pandemic and/or the response to it? How are climate change and the pandemic intertwined, and what can we learn?
  • Climate justice: How can we better implement climate policies and environmental initiatives that provide fair and equal treatment to all communities, and prevent discrimination in the systems that perpetuate climate change?


Grand prize winners will 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 journalists 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 Planet Forward will be your editorial guide to help shape the stories that will come from the experience.

Logo for Lindblad Expeditions - white eye on blue background with text "Lindblad Expeditions"


Storyfest entries will be judged in four areas:

  1. Creativity and effectiveness of chosen format/s;
  2. Excellence in written/verbal communication and/or technical and production skill
  3. Factual accuracy, including attribution of facts, data and quotes, and superior research that considers different perspectives
  4. Overall potential impact of the featured idea.

All submitted work will be reviewed by Planet Forward’s team of experts.

Team Entries

Please note that team entries are limited to two team members. Both team members will be recognized at any university award presentation; however, only one Prize will be awarded for the entire team. See the Official Rules for more information on team entries.

Story Eligibility & Deadline

Any story submitted on between Tuesday, June 1, 2021, 12:00 am EDT, and the NEW deadline to submit stories, Monday, March 7, 2022, at 11:59 PM EST, is eligible for Storyfest 2022.


  1. Review the Official rules, then log into your account, or create a new one.
  2. Draft your story on the Planet Forward website.
  3. At the bottom of the page, check the “This is a Storyfest entry” checkbox and complete the entry form questions.
  4. Change your story status to “Needs Review,” and hit “Save.” You’re done!

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