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

  • Competition. The 2021 Urban Tree Festival (15th to 23rd May) is running a Flash Writing and Poetry Competition on the theme of Trees Close to You. You need to submit your 250 words (maximum) by Monday 5th April. It costs £5 to enter one piece and £8 to enter two. Winners will be invited to read at the festival and if last year’s was anything to go by, there will other free (or at least very good value) tree-related festival events to sign up for too.
  • Competition. There’s a long lead-in to the prestigious Nature Chronicles Prize which is looking for “engaging, unique, essay-length non-fiction that responds to the time we are in and the world as it is, challenging established notions of nature writing where necessary”. Costing £15, entries open 15th Jun 2021 and close 15th Jan 2022.
  • Author event: On 1st Apr 2021, there’s a free online event with Jini Reddy, author of Wanderland.
  • Writing workshop: Mark Cocker, author and Guardian Country Diarist, is leading two two-hour online nature writing workshops on Sun 2nd May and Sat 8th May for £73.74 for both sessions. He’s a wonderful writer so these are bound to be popular.
  • Writing workshop: On Saturday 17th April, I’ll be running a free online nature-writing workshop for London Wildlife Trust’s Great North Wood Project in partnership with wonderful nature-writer Jane Adams. The theme is The Frantic Clamour of Spring and adults and family groups can register here. The workshop is made possible by National Lottery Funding through Arts Council England.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • For a nature-writing classic, I’ve finally got round to reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer which had been sitting on my shelf for a while. Why on earth did I wait so long? It’s beautiful, brilliant and thought-provoking in equal measure. “We need to unearth the old stories that live in a place and begin to create new ones, for we are storymakers, not just storytellers”.
  • Twitter users, I’d recommend following writer Mary Colwell for thoughtful tweets on nature, writing, environment issues and of course curlews. I loved listening to her book Curlew Moon on my library’s e-library app.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for March nature-writing inspiration? Where did you last experience nature when you were least expecting it?

Start adding to your knowledge of the nature around you today. March is a great month for matching bird songs to the birds themselves while tree branches are still bare.

And… please send me anything you’d like to be included in next month’s newsletter.