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:

  • still time to get free tickets for Read It Wild, a nature-readings event I’m hosting taking place on Saturday 29 January 2022 from 6pm and 8pm. Join the fabulous El Rhodes, Vanessa Wright and Jane V Adams as well as a number of other nature writer/readers for a relaxing and inspiring evening of nature prose, poetry and conversation.
  • still time Competition (entry fee £7). Entry for the Gingko Eco-poetry Prize is open until NEW DATE 31 January 2022.
  • still time Competition (entry 6 euros) 250 words on the theme of Walking Home. Entries close 31 January 2022.
  • still time Competition (free entry): Entries for the Green short stories competition close 21 February 2022 and they’re looking for 2000-5000 word stories which meet carefully defined criteria.
  • new I’m leading a free online nature-writing workshop on 26 February 2022 on the theme of Nature, Framed made possible by National Lottery Funding via Arts Council England. I’ll be co-leading this event with disabled nature writer Helen Jones. You can catch up with previous workshops on my Youtube channel.
  • still relevant The Fable Competition (free entry) is looking for fables up to 350 words in style of Robert Louis Stephenson by 2nd April 2022, and the criteria would allow for nature-related stories. Here’s one of his fables for inspiration.
  • weekly Five Words International Poetry Competition (entry 5 euros) might be worth considering if you’re inspired by writing under pressure. Five new words are posted each week to include and some of the combinations (eg. speck spill lover over silver) could definitely inspire nature themes.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • This month I’m reading The Peregrine by J.A. Baker which is making me consider the possibilities of birdwatching by bike as the author cycled round Essex in search of his favourite bird.
  • Hey Twitter users, I’d recommend following Kwesia aka City Girl in Nature who publishes great video diaries on her efforts to promote her passion and love for nature to engage people in inner cities. I had a fun pavement plants walk with her in Deptford last week.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for nature-writing inspiration? Try writing something entirely inspired by the touch and feel of natural objects…

Add to your knowledge of the nature around you… January is the perfect month to learn to identify tree buds when you know it’s not too long until the leaves/flowers appear There’s a great Field Studies Council id book called Winter Trees: a photographic guide to common trees and shrubs by Dominic Price and Leif Bersweden.

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

[This month’s pic is my very average photo of the Peregrine on Leeds University’s Parkinson building]