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 The Nature of Cities Festival (sliding scale of entry fees) 29-31 March 2022. An interdisciplinary program of arts, science, environmental justice, health and wellbeing, etc., all related to the festival theme of the Nature of Cities. Many of the events are interactive, and include workshops and ‘virtual field trips’. A chance to meet people from all over the world with similar interests. (Thanks for flagging this Tessa Grasswitz.)
  • 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.
  • new The Urban Tree Festival Flash Writing Competition (£6 entry) is looking for maximum 250 words of prose or poetry by 18th April 2022 on the subject of Healing Trees.
  • new The Moving Mountains Project led by Louise Kenward has been awarded funding from those lovely folk at Arts Council England for a nature writing anthology and a series of workshops. This new project focuses on nature writing by disabled authors and writers with chronic illness. I’ll share more details as soon as I get them.
  • 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.
  • ongoing No list of writing competitions can be entirely comprehensive but I like to keep an eye on this one – compiled by Neon Books.
  • going but not gone I’m approaching the end of my nature-writing residency in the Great North Wood, funded by Arts Council England and in partnership with the London Wildlife Trust. If you missed my online nature-writing workshops, with fabulous co-hosts, you can catch up on them all on my Youtube channel. You can also read Nature, Framed the latest anthology of fab Thumbnail Nature pieces by workshop participants on the London Wildlife Trust blog alongside the earlier anthologies.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • This month I’m reading Steven Lovatt’s Birdsong in a Time of Silence. It’s the perfect book to dip into over breakfast to help me start of my writing day in a great frame of mind. In other words, the opposite of reading the news.
  • Hey Twitter users, I’d recommend following Caro Fentiman who writes magical tweets about the natural world and juggling being a mum with writing.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for nature-writing inspiration? … Enjoying nature from a window definitely captured the imagination of our workshop participants. How about you?

Add to your knowledge of the nature around you… as the dawn birdsong clamour ramps up, learn the characteristics of one new songster and then notice every time you hear it.

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

[This month’s pic is the frogspawn which appeared in our pond this week]