An Award for

Nature Writing

Welcome to the Nature Chronicles Prize, a  biennial, international, English-language literary award. Our aim is to find engaging, unique, essay-length non-fiction that responds to the time we are in and the world as it is, challenging established notions of nature writing where necessary.

The winner will receive £10,000 and five runners up £1,000 each. All six winning entries will be published in an anthology.

About Us

The prize was conceived to mark the global pandemic and serve those who witnessed it. It is also a memorial to Prudence Scott, a lifelong nature diarist who died in 2019. Her Trust is the prize’s sponsor.

Entry Criteria

  • The competition is open to any work of non-fiction prose between 2,000 and 8,000 words long on a topic the writer considers to be contemporary nature writing.
  • It is for work originating in the English language.
  • Pieces will be judged anonymously and must not have been published, self-published or accepted for publication in print or online. Essays, standalone extracts from unpublished books, and diaries may all be submitted.
  • The entry fee is £15 per submission, which will include a copy of the resulting anthology.

AN EXCITING NEW PARTNERSHIP

and Free Entry for Ten Writers!

All free entries for the 2024 Nature Chronicles Prize have been taken up. We are delighted that we were able to reach really deserving writers.

BOOTHS have stores across Lancashire, Cheshire, Cumbria and Yorkshire, and are constantly striving to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly retailer. They also work with a very large number of food banks.

If you or your organisation would like to become a sponsor in 2025/2026, we would love to hear from you.

 

Key Dates

1st September 2023 – Open for entries

17th January 2024 – Closing date Midnight 17th January 2024

1st August 2024 – Longlist announced

1st September 2024 – Shortlist announced

November 2024 – Prizegiving and book launch at Kendal Mountain Book Festival

 

Just finished reading through submissions to the 2023/24 @NaturePrize & it’s been a real pleasure as I’ve encountered some brilliant essays. The process has also prompted lots of critical thinking about some of the dominant trends & tropes of contemporary nature writing.

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Our Sponsor | Prudence Scott (1926–2019)

Prudence Mary Milligan was born in 1926 to a naval family. She was given a Quaker education and then trained as a nurse. In 1952 she married and in 1961 moved to the Lake District where she brought up her four children, mostly as a single parent. It was a quiet, contained sort of existence, which immersed her children in nature: hedgehogs, Fell ponies, curlews. She was a great reader, and sometimes painted and sometimes wrote poetry – but always she kept up with her journals. In them, she observes her children and her surroundings with the same restless, curious, unsentimental eye.

She died in London on 1 September 2019, aged 93.

I count the days happiest when I have ridden a horse, baked a cake, bathed the children, written for an hour or two, and read before sleeping.

                                                                                                                    7 July 1964

 

The Judges 2023/24

David Cooper

David Cooper

Dr David Cooper is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English at Manchester Metropolitan University where he is the Founding Co-Director of the Centre for Place Writing. His current academic research includes the writing of a book on the immersiveness of contemporary place writing for Liverpool University Press and the co-editing of The Routledge Handbook of Literary Geographies. His recent creative-critical publications include the pamphlet, The Duddon Estuary: The Myriad Lines of its Relations (2022), and an essay, ‘The Most Mancunian of Trees’, in Saraband’s North Country anthology (2022) edited by Karen Lloyd.

Marchelle Farrell

Marchelle Farrell

Marchelle Farrell is a writer, medical psychotherapist, and amateur gardener. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she has spent over 20 years attempting to become hardy here in the UK. She is deeply curious about the relationship between our external and internal landscapes, the patterns we re-enact in relation to the land, and how they might be changed. When not neglecting it for the care of her young children, or her work in the community, Marchelle spends much of her time getting to know her country garden in Somerset, and writing about the things the garden teaches her about herself. Her debut book, Uprooting, won the Nan Shepherd Prize for nature writing and will be published by Canongate in August 2023.

Kim Kremer

Kim Kremer

Kim Kremer is the Managing Director of Notting Hill Editions, an independent publisher specialising in literary essays. Notting Hill Editions has over 60 collections to its name, its most recent publication being Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World by the late, acclaimed nature writer Barry Lopez. In 2013, Notting Hill Editions launched its inaugural Essay Prize, which Kim continued to run until 2017. After starting her publishing career in London, Kim took a break from publishing to pursue an interest in environmental issues and spent two years working at the Centre for Alternative Technology, an eco-centre in Powys, Wales, dedicated to demonstrating and teaching sustainable development.

Jamie Normington

Jamie Normington

As Cumbria Wildlife Trust’s Learning and Development Manager, Jamie works to inspire others about nature and taking action for wildlife. In 2019, he embarked on a 200-mile coast-to-coast walk, armed with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris’s book The Lost Words, and called in at primary schools and community centres to speak about the book’s ideas. He has written regular columns for regional papers ranging from Poland’s Trybuna Opolska to the Brighton Argus; appeared on BBC radio and television; and most recently contributed to the BTO’s Into the Red book about endangered wildlife.

Photograph: Terry Abraham

Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers

Owen Sheers is a multi-award-winning author, poet and playwright. He is currently Professor in Creativity at Swansea University and Ambassador and co-founder of Black Mountains College, a higher education organisation for sustainable futures. Most recently, his film Cynefin highlighted the new ecologically focused management plan for the Bannau Brycheiniog national park, as well as the park’s reclaiming of ‘an old name for a new way of being’. His writings include poetry collections, novels, verse dramas and multiple works for TV, film and theatre. Collaborative projects include a BBC drama, The Trick, about the 2009 Climategate affair and an environmental opera with Welsh National Opera. His professional positions have included Writer in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust.

News / Events / Updates

A NEW PARTNERSHIP

A NEW PARTNERSHIP

Ten Free Entries!  We are keen to acknowledge those writers for whom the fee of £15 is a bar to entry. So we are proud to announce that BOOTHS, grocers since 1847, have offered to sponsor 10...

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Meet the Winners

Meet the Winners

NEHA SINHA - City of Covid-Trees Neha Sinha is an award-winning conservation biologist. Neha heads Conservation and Policy at Bombay Natural History Society, BirdLife in India. She was chosen for...

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Meet the Winners

Meet the Winners

JOANNA POCOCK - None of This Should Be Here Joanna Pocock is a writer currently living in London. It has since been published in the UK, US and Canada, and has been translated into French and...

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The Anthology

Contained within this, the first Nature Chronicles Prize Anthology, are the outstanding winning entries for the inaugural prize, by Jenny Chamarette, Laura Coleman, Ben Crane, Joanna Pocock and Neha Sinha, alongside the inaugural overall winner – Nicola Pitchford, for her essay ‘A Parable of Arable Land’. These winning works express diverse responses to our planet and its life, and together embody the best of contemporary nature writing, whether by emerging or established authors.

The anthology is introduced by bestselling nature writer Kathryn Aalto, who was one of the judges for this prize.

Available from bookstores or online from the publisher Saraband.

Let us keep you posted

To stay up to date with the Nature Chronicles Prize, join our mailing list. As well as reminding you of key dates, we will keep you in the loop by sending any relevant news and info.