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What You’ll Get Out of This Playbook

The more climate stories there are—the more diversity of storytellers and genres—the better climate stories will become. It’s not any one person’s story to tell.

Dorothy Fortenberry, writer and producer, The Handmaid’s Tale

This Playbook is for all screenwriters and creatives—those who are steeped in the climate crisis and those who are learning about it. Whether you’re writing a screenplay, outlining a pilot, or working as an EP or assistant on the twenty-third season of a show (we see you, Grey’s Anatomy), this Playbook will help you bring your climate stories to life.

This is a guide to incorporating climate into your existing projects as well as conjuring up new climate stories.

We’ve gathered expert-informed material: from the real-world adventures of climate heroes to the dark obsessions of glaciologists to climate impacts like scorpion attacks and blood snow. You’ll hear from an amazing group of climate experts, communicators, and storytellers, with pieces by climate scientist Dr. Kate Marvel, storyteller and climate poet Mary Annaïse Heglar, journalist Amy Westervelt, and many others.

You’ll also find fictional “story seeds,” intended to show glimpses of the enormous menu of potential climate stories. If they help, you are legally free to use any part of them as a jumping-off point. (Or not. Do you, friend.)

Fun fact: there’s no one right way to read this.

You can start at the Character section, where you’ll find profiles of real and imagined people grappling with the climate crisis, or jump to Case Studies for examples of great climate storytelling already out there, plus potential IP for adaptation.

Pop over to Climate Stories in Action for examples of imagined climate loglines for beloved off-air shows, or head to Story World for climate impacts on setting, plus solutions and a peek into the future.

Lastly, the Library of Experts will highlight key scientists, activists, adventurers, and experts who want to help you out. It’s key to talk to experts and people on the front lines alike, especially Indigenous, Black, and other historically marginalized people, to ensure your stories are rooted in their expertise and lived experiences.

NOTE: The climate emergency is the ultimate global crisis, touching everyone on this planet. This first iteration of the Playbook is mostly focused on US-based stories, but it’s just the beginning. We will broaden our lens to other parts of the world in the future. If you want to help us make this leap, please reach out!

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