Welcome to this newsletter in which I share opportunities for nature-writers, recommend blogs and books, suggest nature-writing tips/prompts and more…
- Need to get your writing head together? Mel Sutton offers a weekly Meditation for Writers group – a new season starts in January 2021 at 5pm on Wednesdays. Nature-writing and meditation always seem well aligned to me.
- Competition coming soon. The Museum of Walking is a really interesting and quirky organisation based in south London which runs regular writing competitions, many of which suit nature-writing. They’ve told me there’s a new competition planned for February 2020 so keep an eye on their website.
- Ready for a life change? Bath Spa University’s excellent MA in Travel and Nature writing is open for applications for the 2021/22 academic year. This is a distance learning course which you can study part-time over two years. It’s led by the wonderful nature writer Stephen Moss – and, yes, you’ve guessed it I’m a big fan, having just started my second year.
This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:
- If you are a Twitter users: For sparkling #ThumbnailNature writing, I’d really recommend following @nicolawriting
- I’ll probably say this many times, but Mslexia is an inspirational online magazine for women writers which invites writing submissions for publication and runs competitions including ones for non-fiction writing.
- For thought-provoking nature and environment writing, Mark Avery’s blog is unmissable.
- I’m currently reading Merlin Sheldrake’s amazing book about fungi, Entangled Life. I’ll never look at a mushroom the same way again. Definitely one to order from your local independent bookshop.
This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts
Stuck for winter nature-writing inspiration? Be safe but get outside in the garden or nature beyond after dark and spend 15 to 20 minutes just looking, listening, smelling, touching. Inspired by that experience, write a postcard to a friend encouraging them to do it too.
Start adding to your knowledge of the nature today… keep an eye out for a weed in flower which you don’t know the name of. Take a photo of the flower, the leaves and a closeup of the stem and use to find out what it’s called from a field guide. If you can’t work it out, post on Twitter with tagged #wildflowerID and kind Twitter botanists will identify it for you 🙂