Welcome to this newsletter in which I’ll share free (or very cheap) opportunities I’ve found for nature writers, recommend nature writing blogs and books, suggest nature-writing tips/prompts, and more…

This month’s updates:

  • Free online writing space: If you’re finding it difficult to commit time to your nature writing then why not try the She Howls Co-Writing Space for Women 6.30pm – 8.15pm’ish every Sunday from 1st5 August (And I’d love to hear how it goes…)
  • Free online writing group: You’re not alone! The She Writes group meets on Tuesdays every fortnight and the theme on Tuesday 3rd August is ‘nature’.
  • Free online writing workshop. This one on 4th Aug hosted by the Irish Writers’ Centre Climate Group looks interesting.
  • Free online eco-poetry workshop for kids 10-14+: This hour-long workshop with poet Greg Santos is on Friday 13th August from 3-4pm.
  • Free online nature writing talk On Our Fundamental Need for the Natural World: A Live Online Conversation with Lucy Jones and Laura Pustarfi is on Saturday 14th August. I loved Lucy’s book Losing Eden so this should be great.
  • Free online writing workshop. Can’t wait to co-lead my next on-line nature-writing workshop with mental health and queer community writer Billie Ballard on Saturday 28th August. Free tickets are available here. These workshops are made possible by National Lottery Funding through Arts Council England.
  • Competition (entry fee £15). Still plenty of time to plan and research an essay for 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”. Entries close 15th Jan 2022.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • This month I’m reading Bird Therapy, Joe Harkness’ powerful memoir charting his recovery from severe mental illness and how birdwatching helped. I’d rather put off starting it because I thought it might be too heavy going but I couldn’t have been more wrong; it’s an engaging and glorious read.
  • Hey Twitter users, I’d recommend following author, editor and environmentalist Anita Roy and maybe start by reading her lovely Guardian Country Diary piece about grasses. I’m really pleased Anita will be joining me for an on-line workshop in October.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for nature-writing inspiration?  If you’re getting away over the summer, a change of scene can be just the thing for re-invigorating your nature-writing… and I’d particularly love to hear how you squeeze bird-watching and other nature-watching in when you’re on holiday.

Start adding to your knowledge of the nature around you today… August is the month when quite a lot of birds are hiding away to moult in safety, so many birdwatchers look out for butterflies then instead. Can you name the butterflies you see in your garden or park? And if that’s too easy, then maybe it’s time to make a diy moth trap

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