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

  • Online writing workshop. I’ll be running a free online nature-writing workshop on June 19th in partnership with emerging nature writer and experienced conservationist Chantelle Lindsay. The theme is The Nature of Light, as it’s taking place a couple of days before the solstice, and adults and family groups can register here. The workshop is made possible by National Lottery Funding through Arts Council England.
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  • Open for submissions. The Willowherb Review is accepting submissions for the next issue from 15th May to 30th June. They’re interested in fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the subject of nature, place and the environment and the full submission guidelines are here.
  • Competition. There’s still time to enter for the BBC Countryfile Magazine New Nature Writer of the Year Competition for 2021. If you’ve never been published in print for a national audience, then you’re eligible to enter 600-800 words on the topic of ‘an escape to nature’ with a closing date of 9th June 2021. The competition team say “As we read your entry, we want to feel like we are standing beside you.”
  • 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.
  • Freebie I’m sharing two podcasts of my nature-writing for the Urban Tree Festival 2021. The podcast is live now and part 2 will go live at 9:30 on Sunday 23rd May. And there are still some other great events to take part in as part of the final few days of the festival.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • This month I’ve been reading Bob Gilbert’s 2018 book Ghost Trees which has inspired me to spend more time finding out why the plants I find growing wild and naturalised in south London are here.
  • Twitter users, I’d recommend following author, Guardian Country Diarist and birder Lev Parikian. No-one said nature-writing has to be earnest, and Lev has my vote for the funniest nature writer around.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for May/June nature-writing inspiration? As we approach the longest day, perhaps nature watching in the long evenings could energise you? Whether it’s bats against the evening sky in the park, looking out for ghost-white barn owls or noticing the way some flowers seem to glow in the fading light, the nature of evening light itself has so many dimensions to explore.

Start adding to your knowledge of the nature around you today. #NoMowMay is a great month for spotting flowers and insects in the grassy patches which the mowers haven’t got to yet.

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