Young voices for nature need to be heard.
Each year, Hen Harrier Action hosts a competition to find the UK’s best Young Wild Writers. This year’s competition was launched on Skydancer Day by author Gill Lewis, and the theme for 2023 is Animal Survival.
The closing date for entries is midnight on the 10th July, with the winners in each category announced on the 12th August.
Do you know anyone between the ages of five and 16 who loves writing and nature?
Please tell them about the competition and encourage them to enter. There are three categories:
– Young 6-8 Years
– Junior 9-12 Years
– Senior 13-16 Years
The prizes for 2023 include RSPB Puffin binoculars, £50 book tokens and other goodies, and are featured on our website.
Last year, we were delighted that the overall competition winner, Emily Hunt, could join us at Hen Harrier Fest in Cheshire and read her prose on the stage – to great applause. She joined Megan McCubbin and Indy Kiemel Greene again at Skydancer Day on the 7th May to launch this year’s competition, and to reveal that the overall winning entry will also earn an online school visit from acclaimed children’s author, vet and wildlife champion Gill Lewis.
As Gill said when announcing the winners last year “Words have the power to change hearts and minds; they inform, engage, enrage and empower people. Young voices calling for change need to be heard. The future ecologists, town planners, politicians, and scientists must have the natural world at the core of all their decision making”.
Entrants can write stories, poems, articles, prose or letters up to 500 words but they must be related in some way to ‘Animal Survival’.
You can submit your entry form here.
Word count: up to 500 words (excluding title)
Subject: Animal Survival
Writing Style: Any writing style (e.g. letter, prose, poem, story)
No illustrations please: accompanying illustrations will not be considered
Judging criteria: Originality, underlying ideas, how the writer engages and communicates, fresh views on a subject; entries will not be judged on spelling and grammar
One entry per person only
Entries must be the original work of the entrant and must not have been entered in or won any other writing competition
Deadline for submissions: midnight on 10th July 2023
Winners announcement: 12th August 2023
Late entries will not be considered
The judges’ decisions are final
Entrants shall be not less than, or no more or less than, their age categories on the 12th August 2023. For example, if an entrant turns 9 years old on the 12th August, they should enter the Junior (9-12) category
Overall winner: RSPB Puffin Binoculars, £50 book voucher and online author visit to the winner’s school*
Winner of each age category: £50 book voucher
(*If the entrant is home-schooled, then an alternative online tutorial will be offered)
Download the Competition Poster for Your School or Youth Group Here
We welcome support from schools, and we’d be delighted to receive entries from Primary, Junior and Secondary schoolchildren, aged 6-16 years.
Along with individual prizes for students, the overall winner will earn an online author visit to their school by children’s author Gill Lewis.
Why not download our competition entry poster to print and post on your school or classroom notice board?
Read Last Year's Winning Entries
Junior Category: 9-12 years
Winner – Henry Gill – Age 11
The judges loved Henry’s piece of writing about wolves. Henry effectively uses all the wolfs’ senses to help us imagine what it is to be a wolf and understand the threats they face from humans. The short sentence structure built the tension, as we ran with the wolves, stopping and listening, stopping and watching.
Writing that helps us build empathy with animals helps to change the narrative around
animals, especially those, like wolves, that have been demonised in literature.
There’s more inspiration on our YouTube channel.
Watch as Gill Lewis launches the competition live with Megan McCubbin and Indy Kiemel Greene on Skydancer Day:
And discover how one young writer’s winning entry – My Patch of Green, by Neha Narne – helped save a much-loved allotment from the developer’s bulldozers.