Apply for Our Climate Leadership Program

Writing Prompts

We all share a concern about climate change and its effects on the world and on our future. To that end, Bluedot wants to hear from you about plans and actions you, your friends, your school, and/or your community are developing in response to this crisis. One student’s question can spark another student’s inquiry. It’s time to share what we are thinking about and trying, as we move forward on this issue together.

We also know that the threat of climate change resonates with many of us on a personal, as well as a public level. We want to hear about that too. Just remember that the more specific and particular one’s story, the more universal it becomes. Anyone can say they’re worried; but tell us about the moment when you “got” the reality of climate change and we can really connect with you and your experience. It’s easy to talk in generalities about nature; but paint the picture of your favorite hike and we will be on the trail by your side, reflecting, as you do, what is worth preserving.

Prompt #1: Action

Write about a specific climate project in your community. How did it start? How did it gain momentum? What obstacles have you/they encountered along the way and how have you/they addressed them? What’s the goal and how is it going?

Write about a person in your community who is working to address this issue. Who are they? How did they get engaged? What are they up against and how is it going?

Write about a need that, in your opinion, is going unaddressed in your community. What’s the issue? Why is it a problem? Are you aware of any attempts that have been made so far to address it? What might be done? (Another reader might have some useful tips to offer.)

Prompt #2: Reflection

Write about a moment when climate change became personal for you, became real, became an issue that affected you or when you realized that it might or would.

Write about a time when you decided to do something and did it, even if it was as basic as picking up a plastic bottle off the sidewalk to recycle it.

Write about an experience in the natural world that changed you in some way.


Lots of us know about (and read!) the excellent reporting on the climate crisis in national publications such as The Guardian, NY Times, and Washington Post, as well as in online climate-specific newsrooms, such as Grist. But we know there are a lot of big ideas in smaller places — a lot of ingenuity, hard work, and community spirit that doesn’t make the news. We believe that, by telling these stories, we can not only share ideas, but we can also offer some hope and evidence of change. Let’s learn from each other.

In order to share those stories, Bluedot is creating a diverse network of correspondents of all ages and experience to seek out and share those stories — in words, in photos, in infographics, in video — with the broader Bluedot community via our national and local websites. Each student dispatch will answer one or more of the following questions:

Prompt #3: Bluedot Dispatch

What are you noticing or experiencing in your school or community around climate adaptation/mitigation, conservation, environmental innovations?

Who’s leading the way in implementing programs, pushing for climate policy, or working to protect species or habitat?

What innovations are being put forward? 

Is your community/city/state/province working to enact environmental policies that will protect wetlands or ban pollutants, such as California’s recent law against leaf blowers.

What problem is being addressed?

What are the untold stories that deserve an audience?

We want your first-hand impressions. What’s exciting about this? How is it changing the community? How are you involved in this?

Submitting Work

Refer to the writing prompts we have provided or make your own. We have a series of rolling deadlines throughout the year, so feel free to have your students submit whenever they are ready to do so.

Writing: a maximum of 500 words

Video: a maximum of 3 minutes

Photos/artwork: no limitations.

Each submission should include: The student’s name, age, school, photo and a line or two about the student’s own background and interest in the environment. Please also include any photos that illustrate the submission topic, along with a line or two about the project, to provide any useful context. Teachers, please include your name, school, and job title, too.

Selected entries will be posted on the Bluedot website and/or in the Bluedot print magazine.

Please submit work via email to Lucas Thors.