HHA Trustee, children’s author Gill Lewis announced the 2022 Young Wild Writers at Hen Harrier Fest.  She said “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, scientists, etc., must have the natural world at the core of all their decision making.”. We were delighted that overall winner Emily Hunt could join us and read her prose on the stage – to great applause.

Young Category: 5-8 years old

Winner – Sky Kwok – Age 8

The judges loved Sky’s acrostic poem. There is the simplicity of observation and wonder within the rhythm of the words. It made the judges want to stop and look up and consider the swallows’ journeys.

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.

Senior Category: 13-16 years

Winner Emily Hunt – Age 15

The judges were incredibly impressed with Emily’s lyrical piece of writing about jackdaws. Corvids are often demonised, and many seen as vermin. But Emily’s prose helps us to see the world from the jackdaw’s perspective – a real bird’s eye view. We feel we are an individual jackdaw as well as part of the flock. The writing achieved a sense of movement, of being swept along on the rollercoaster ride of the swoops and turns and the ‘rotating mandala’ of flight. The writing explores the theme of journey through the life of a jackdaw and also their physical journey; ‘learn navigation by hawthorn and ash, the slight twists of the book.’

Emily is certainly a writer to watch for the future. You can find more about her, and her writing here – Twitter @em_nature. And blog https://emilyjanehunt.wixsite.com/natureblog