Visionary fiction is, among other things, a thought exercise, one we might use to stretch our ability to think differently about the world and imagine possibilities outside of the barriers in our way. But it can be challenging to start working on thinking outside those barriers, on imagining a world with different rules from the ones that limit us now. If you would like to write something, but don’t know where to begin, this page is an offering: a collection of ideas, generated in community or offered by community members, to inspire your writing. Visionary fiction does not have to be a solitary activity, and the process of re-visioning the world is a collective one.

If you are coming from the alternative perspective – you have an idea but aren’t sure how to write it – you are welcome to contribute to the idea pool yourself! You can do this by following the steps of submitting a piece of writing (start on the Share page), and in the text box, write down your idea. Select the category “Idea” on the submission page. This idea can stand alone as a piece of visionary fiction – contributions to our website do not have to be completed stories – or you can indicate that you are submitting it to the idea pool for other community members to use. On this page, we will provide a link to your idea.

If you submit a piece of writing based on an idea from this page, or from another community member’s submission, please credit the submission in the footer to your piece!

Ideas:

Visionary fiction at UWB/CC (prompt generated from discussion at a Community Reads event): One of the standout features of our campus is the crows. What would happen if we learned to communicate with them? What might this campus be able to do differently if we could speak to and understand the crows? What might a more direct relationship with the crows on campus look like? How might this change issues of food, safety, environmental impact, community care, and more?

Alternatively: what kinds of technologies might be inspired by flocks of crows? How could those technologies change our lives?

Respond to the stories (generated from discussion at a Community Reads event): Many of the stories in this book have open endings. What do you think happens next? Write a reflective, critical, or creative response with your thoughts.

Earth Month at UWB/CC

For 2023 Earth Month, Community Reads has partnered with the UW Bothell and Cascadia College Sustainability Offices to think about visionary fiction in the context of environmental change and environmental justice. In our dreams of a better world, we cannot neglect the world itself; environmental justice is social justice. The programming for Earth Month is based on the book and project Drawdown, which focuses on solutions for the climate crisis. In partnership with the Sustainability Offices, we have designed a series of prompts for visionary fiction based on this book and on the concept of environmental justice. If you respond to one of these prompts, your work may be highlighted on the Earth Month website.

  • Project Drawdown is organized into 100 different solutions and approaches to the climate crisis. Choose one (or more) of these solutions and write a short story about what the world could look like if that solution were implemented.
  • Create a piece of found poetry or erasure poetry using quotes from the book Project Drawdown.
  • On a campus, community, or service level, what is the sustainable future of UWB/CC? Write a reflection, short story, poem, or piece of flash fiction about what this college community could look like in a brighter climate future.
  • What is an example of change or progress you would like to see in the approach to environmental justice? What would the world look like if this change were implemented?
  • Project Drawdown also includes a section on Coming Attractions, these solutions are ones that have the potential to be game-changers if someone dares to explore them. When focusing on solutions to include in their book, Project Drawdown did not want to imply that our capacity to solve global warming relies solely on what we already know and do. Choose a Coming Attraction to write a vision of, or develop your own game changing idea.  
  • Spring is a time of renewal. We encourage you to explore a part of campus that you haven’t explored before. The food forest along the campus promenade, the Uplands forest pathway near Discovery Hall, the wetland boardwalk, and the campus farm between the sports field and the North Garage are all places that can inspire and provoke visionary thought. Visit one of these locations and see what kind of thoughts are inspired by immersing yourself in our surroundings.