Welcome to this newsletter in which I’ll share opportunities I’ve ferreted out for nature writers, recommend blogs and books, suggest nature-writing tips/prompts and more…
This month’s updates
- Nature and Place poetry competition. £7 entry. Closes 1st March 2021.
- Competition for young nature writers. 500-1000 words (depending on age) on the subject of ‘The Ocean’. Free to enter. Closes 15th March 2021.
- Do you have a great idea for a nature-writing piece? The Pilgrim Magazine doesn’t pay but editor Tom Stanger welcomes pitches from new nature writers and if your idea is accepted your name will be on the front cover.
- Inspiring. (Well I hope it will be inspiring!) I’ll be running a nature-writing workshop for London Wildlife Trust’s Great North Wood Project on Saturday 17th April. Expect to think about spring in a different way. More details and how to register in the March newsletter.
- Looking ahead. The dates for the online 2021 Urban Tree Festival have been announced as 15th to the 23rd May. If last year’s festival was anything to go by, there will free (or at least good value) tree-related events to sign up for.
- Still relevant. The father of new British nature-writing (imo), Richard Mabey, turned 80 this month. His pal Mark Cocker suggested February should be Mabey Month and so I’ve been inspired to revisit some of Richard’s books – The Unofficial Countryside, Nature Cure and Weeds – which feel more relevant than ever.
This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:
- For a nature-writing classic, I’ve recently read Walter J. C. Murray’s classic Copsford which is a nature-memoir from his year trying to make a living from harvesting wild plants. Full of action and adventure – yes really! – this deserves to be much better known so thumbs up to Little Toller Books for reprinting it.
- Twitter users, for scintillating #ThumbnailNature writing, I’d recommend following James Lacewing who writes lovely atmospheric nature tweets.
This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts
Want to get your nature writing published? Join your local natural history society and offer to write an article for their newsletter or blog.
Stuck for February nature-writing inspiration? Spring nature-writing is awash with cliches,.. “bursting leaf buds”, “carpets of bluebells” and “clouds of blossom” for example. There’s got to be an original way of writing about spring, hasn’t there, and you are just the person to do it…
Start adding to your knowledge of the nature around you today. February is a great month for identifying tree buds and it won’t be long before the flowers and leaves appear, so you can double check your identification. There’s a really useful guide to identifying Winter Trees by Dominic Price and Leif Bersweden to help you.
And… please send me anything you’d like to be included in next month’s newsletter.