If things go according to plan, many of us will begin emerging from our enforced seclusion this spring and summer, and at last able to escape our homes and immerse ourselves in the natural beauty of the countryside.
During the restrictions of the last year, many of us have been more sensitive than ever to nature. Even simple, fleeting moments have seemed precious, eternal. While our lives took a strange and troubling turn, we cherished the soothing song of a blackbird, the scent of blossom on the breeze, and the final golden flare of sunshine before dark.
We know that during this time many of you may have begun to articulate your love for the natural world, in diaries, blogs or social media.
So we thought this was the perfect time to celebrate the art of nature writing, and give a platform to all those of you out there with a new-found talent for writing about the natural world.
That’s why we are launching the first BBC Countryfile Magazine New Nature Writer of the Year competition.
All you have to do is write us a short piece. We’d love to hear from you!
What to write about
We would like to read your story on the theme ‘An escape to nature’.
All you have to do is to write 600 to 800 words, describing an aspect of the UK’s natural world that you have seen in person.
As we read your entry, we want to feel like we are standing beside you. Your piece should have a vivid atmosphere – and create a strong sense of place.
How did this experience of the natural world affect you? Did the experience change your mind? Did it move you?
If you’re chosen as the winner by our panel of expert judges, your entry will be published in BBC Countyfile Magazine in September.
What’s a ‘new writer’?
We’re keen to hear new voices – those who have never published nature writing in print, for a national audience.
But you CAN take part if you have written about nature in local newspapers, or other print media with a limited audience.
And it’s also fine to enter if you’ve written blogs and web features about the natural world.
The winner will be the entry that best:
- describes an aspect of the UK’s natural world that the entrant has witnessed in person
- evokes a vivid atmosphere
- conveys a strong sense of place
- shows how this experience of the natural world affected the entrant
Who can enter?
The competition is open to all residents of the UK, including the Channel Islands, except employees or contractors of Immediate Media and anyone connected with the competition or their direct family members.
There is no minimum age for entrants.
How and when can I enter?
Entrants should enter by email only, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Text should be pasted into the body of the email, not attached in a document.
Don’t forget to include your full name, where you come from, and your email address and daytime telephone number.
Entrants aged under 18 must state their age with their competition entry, and confirm that they have permission to enter from their parent or guardian.
The closing date for entries is 11.59pm on 9 June 2021
Illustration: Andy Lovell