Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature Wild Writing Competition

14th December 2018 - 14th February 2019

Brought to you by Dunedin Public Libraries in partnership with Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature, with the generous support of the Wild Dunedin Festival of Nature.

Natural history writers, including Pliny the Elder, the Darwins, Carson, Dilliard, Thoreau, Leopold, Monbiot and Attenborough, have for centuries encouraged, indeed urged, us to think like a mountain, go feral, be a beast, teach a stone to talk or speak to the trees. Dunedin, in the South Island of New Zealand, is a city rich with nature, bounded by an amazing range of wild habitats and landscapes, from mountains to ocean. As a UNESCO City of Literature, Dunedin is ideally placed to launch a nature writing competition, and we hope this competition will encourage the practice of intentional focused attentiveness, by both writers and readers, to the more than human world.

The Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature Wild Writing Competition is an initiative of artist and writer Madeleine Child, and arranged with the collaboration of Dunedin Public Libraries, Wild Dunedin Festival of Nature, and Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature. We invite you to write a single great sentence, inspired by the wildness of nature.

Entries should be an observation or declaration describing a moment in nature that moves you to put pen to paper – something you’ve experienced, a sense of place, a description or statement, limited to 250 words maximum. While we welcome entries from all over the world, submissions must be in English for judging purposes.

To enter you must be aged 18+, and entries are welcomed from writers anywhere in the world with an interest in wildlife.

The competition will be judged by an independent panel of judges, drawn from a wide array of Dunedin-based writers, musicians, poets, scientists, naturalists and artists. The winning entry will be turned into a beautifully-designed postcard for our Wild Cards series, and the writer will win a cash prize of NZ$1,000 sponsored by the Wild Dunedin New Zealand Festival of Nature.

How Do I Enter?

  • Write a sentence, no longer than 250 words, inspired by the wildness of nature.
  • Complete the online entry form and upload your work by the closing date of midnight Thursday 14th February 2019.
  • All entries must be submitted online using the official online entry form. Paper entries will not be considered.
  • Entries must be in English.

Entries close: Midnight, New Zealand time, Thursday 14th February, 2019