The newly merged Resurgence & Ecologist magazine is delighted to announce the launch of a new international Nature Writing essay competition for 2013, which we are running in partnership with three ‘sister’ charities that share a similar ethos and have strong links with Devon.

Our partner charities:

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 classes in Nature Engagement, and courses in rural skills, sustainable and creative living (

The brief:

Nature has always challenged writers to write their very best and so your brief is simple: write an engaging and inspiring 2,000-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.

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

The prizes:

1st Our first prizewinner will be offered a place on a 5-day residential Arvon Foundation writing course (worth £655) to help hone their writing skills. They will also receive £500.

2nd Second prize is £250 plus six issues of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine (worth £30) and an invitation to come and enjoy a coastal/botanical walk followed by a good old-fashioned Devon cream tea with Satish Kumar in the glorious Devon countryside.

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

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

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 individual participant.

You can download your entry form, plus full details of the terms and conditions, from or write to: Nature Writing Competition 2013, Ford House, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE to request them.

The judges:

The judging panel for the shortlist will include representatives from all four charities, including:

Satish Kumar, Editor-in-Chief, Resurgence & Ecologist

Susan Clark, Associate Editor, Resurgence & Ecologist

Ruth Borthwick, Chief Executive, Arvon Foundation

Harry Barton, Chief Executive, Devon Wildlife Trust

Jon Every, botanist and Nature Engagement Officer, Yarner Trust

The final judging panel will include Stephen Moss, broadcaster and naturalist, author and academic Peter Reason 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.

Susan Clark is Associate Editor, Resurgence & Ecologist magazine.