Welcome to this newsletter in which I’ll share free (or at least good value) opportunities I’ve found for nature writers, recommend nature-writing blogs and books, suggest nature-writing tips/prompts, and more…
The heading photo is of Yellow-wort with what I think are flower beetles

Summer special updates:

  • last chance I’m coming to the end of my Nature-Writing Hours series of online workshops. It’s been lots of fun and has resulted in lovely things like this anthology of nature writing and photos. There are a few tickets left for the very last one – Perfecting pitches – on Sat 30th July (ticket sales close on Thurs 28th July) during which we’ll talk about making the first steps towards getting your nature writing published. Then it’ll be time to start planning an autumn series…
  • last chance The Barn Owl Trust is running a Wildlife Poetry Competition (entry £5) on the subject of Inspirational Nature with a closing date of 29th July 2022.
  • still open The 2022 Moth Nature Writing Prize (entry 15 euros) is open for entries until 15th September 2022. Time to start writing for this one…
  • worth considering Non-fiction competitions are a little thin on the ground this month, so here are some short fiction competitions which might be worth considering for developing your nature writing over the summer: Oxford Flash Fiction Competition (deadline 31st Aug 2022, entry £6), Creative Writing Ink Short Story Competition (deadline 30th Sep 2022, entry £9), Bedford Short Story Competition (deadline 31st Oct 2022, entry £7.50)
  • 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.
  • newly added/monthly The Shooter Literary Magazine flash non-fiction/fiction competition (entry £3.50) seems a perfect opening for nature writing.
  • ongoing No list of writing competitions can be entirely comprehensive but I like to keep an eye on this one – compiled by Neon Books.

This month’s Who to Read or Follow recommendations:

  • Over the summer I’ll be reading Underland by Robert Macfarlane which has finally appeared in my local library and I’ve heard is considered his very best book. Robert has a reputation for being very kind and supportive towards new nature writers…
  • Hey Twitter users, I’d recommend following my pal the multi-talented naturalist & environmentalist, photographer, writer, podcaster Daniel Greenwood for his thought-provoking tweets.

This month’s Nature-writing tips and prompts:

Stuck for nature-writing inspiration? How about focusing on the colour yellow? After a number of hot dry days all the grass is yellow, but then yellow flowers like Autumn Hawkbit are appearing in my local verges earlier than usual too.

Add to your knowledge of the nature around you… being away from home but still in the British Isles can introduce you to a whole new lot of flora and fauna. It might be worth contacting the local bird or botany group to see what the specialities are to look out for before you go. I’m hoping to see Willow Tits, Yellow-legged Gulls and Great White Egrets in North Devon as well as any dune flowers which have survived the heat.

And… please send me anything you’d like to be included in the September 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 proudly self-published activity book Thumbnail Nature Journal is available to buy here…