Nature Writing Contest 2013

| 8th October 2012
Damsel Fly
Photo by Marsland Senior Nature Reserve Officer Gary Pilkington. Fourth prize in the competition is a tour with Gary around the reserve.
The newly-merged Resurgence & Ecologist magazine is delighted to announce the launch of a new national Nature Writing competition, which we are running in partnership with three ‘sister’ charities that share a similar ethos and, in addition, have strong and established links with Devon - where we are also based

Our partner charities are:

*Arvon Foundation – founded in 1968 by, amongst others, Resurgence columnist and author, John Moat, Arvon offers highly respected residential creative writing courses at four rural centres in the UK (

*Devon Wildlife Trust - one of the UK’s 47 wildlife trust networks which between them have 800,000 members (
*Yarner Trust – a Devon-based centre offering courses in Nature Engagement, rural skills, sustainable and creative living (

Our new Nature Writing competition is open to anyone over the age of 16. The deadline for all entries is January 6th, 2013 and we will announce four prizewinners on our websites on May 1st, 2013. All four prize-winning articles will all be published professionally in the magazine (or on our websites).

The Brief:

Nature has always challenged writers to write their very best and so your brief is simple: write an engaging and inspiring 2000 word non-fiction piece celebrating/exploring the wonder of Nature and your own relationship with and to it. Your piece should be a true account of an experience that you found uplifting, challenging, alarming or even life changing and your goal, as with all good writing, is to share that connection with your reader - whether you are writing about wildlife or the weather. If you need a suggested theme to get your creative juices flowing then our three trigger words/phrases for the 2013 competition are: ‘Roots,’ ‘Spaces’ and ‘A Whisper’. With regret, we are not able to include poetry on this occasion.

The Prizes:

1st - Our first prizewinner will be offered a place on a 5-day residential Arvon Foundation writing course (worth £665) to help hone their writing skills. They will also receive £500.

2nd - Second prize is £250 plus a year-long free membership of the Resurgence Trust and an invitation to come and enjoy a coastal/botanical walk, followed by a good old fashioned Devon Cream Tea with Satish Kumar at his home in the glorious Devon countryside. 

3rd - Third prize is £75 plus a voucher for a residential Yarner Trust (1 day) course in rural skills/creative living (worth £100)

4th - Fourth prize is a free year-long membership of Devon Wildlife Trust (worth £27) plus an exclusive invitation to visit the Trusts’s beautiful Marsland Nature Reserve for a guided tour with Senior Nature Reserves officer, Gary Pilkington. This is an invitation for you and three additional guests.

How To Enter:

There is a modest entry fee of just £7.50 for each writer to cover administration costs and the competition is limited to one entry per participant. You can download your entry form, plus full details of the terms and conditions, from our sister website ( or write to the Resurgence & Ecologist offices to request one.: Nature Writing Competition 2013, Ford House, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE

The Judges:

The judging panel for the shortlist will include representatives from all four charities, including Satish Kumar, Editor-in-chief of Resurgence & Ecologist, Susan Clark, Associate Editor, Ruth Borthwick, chief executive Arvon Foundation, Harry Barton, chief executive Devon Wildlife Trust and Jon Every, botanist and Nature Engagement Officer, Yarner Trust. The final judging panel will include Stephen Moss, broadcaster & naturalist and Resurgence nature writers, Miriam Darlington and Jeremy James. This panel will be chaired by the award-winning and inspirational novelist Michael Morpurgo who is also Devon-based.

Read our terms & conditions and dowloand your Nature Writing Competition 2013 entry form here:

More from this author


The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.