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 sign up for the events taking place this weekend as the 2022 Urban Tree Festival comes to an end. The Write About Trees showcase on the afternoon of Sunday 22nd May should be a treat and tickets are free!
  • competition – closing date 8 June 2022 BBC Countryfile Magazine have launched their New Nature Writer of the Year competition for 2022 and it’s a very tight timescale
  • new The 2022 Moth Nature Writing Prize (entry 15 euros) is open for entries until 15th September 2022.
  • 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.
  • I launched my Nature-Writing Hours series of workshops a couple of weeks ago and the first two sessions were lots of fun and led to this anthology of lovely writing and photos. Each workshop in the series takes place on a Friday evening and is then repeated the following morning. Tickets are flexibly priced and you can find them at the links below. At the next one we’ll be thinking about defining our individual nature-writing perspectives which gives each of us a unique voice.
Friday evening – 7pm to 8pmSaturday morning – 11am to 12pm
27th May – Nature writing and you28th May – Nature writing and you
17th Jun – Voices for nature18th Jun – Voices for nature
8th Jul – Nature diaries with pizzazz9th Jul – Nature diaries with pizzazz
29th Jul – Perfecting pitches30th Jul – Perfecting pitches

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • This month I’m reading Under a White Sky by Elizabeth Colbert for the nature-writing book club I go to. It probably isn’t a book I’d have chosen for myself but I’m going to balance it by re-reading one of my favourite books, Patrick Barkham’s much more cheery The Butterfly Isles.
  • Hey Twitter users, I’d recommend following amazing young naturalist Kabir Kaul. I had the pleasure of meeting Kabir (and his mum Gayatri) at New Networks for Nature last year.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for nature-writing inspiration? Sign up for a new citizen science nature project, it’s bound to be an interesting experience and give you new material to write about . I’ve just started eel monitoring with the South East River Trust.

Add to your knowledge of the nature around you… grasses are coming into flower. Find out the names of four you see regularly, perhaps ones like Cock’s-foot, Annual Meadow-grass, Barren Brome and False Oat-grass which are common across the British Isles.

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

Recordings of writing workshops I’ve led can be found here on my Youtube channel and you can read anthologies from my nature-writing residency partnered with the London Wildlife Trust here on their blog. My book Thumbnail Nature Journal will be available to buy very soon…  

[This month’s pic is a perky elver we found in the monitoring trap in West London this week before we wished it well on its way upstream!]