Seeing the wood and the trees: chance to become writer-in-residence with Forestry Commission
The deadline is 14 January 2019 to apply for two national writer-in-residence opportunities, which will begin in the spring, as the Forestry Commission marks its centenary next year. The commission is particularly interested in hearing from people from under-represented groups, young writers and emerging writers living in urban locations to offer their perceptions of nature in England. It is also looking to attract people using “a diverse range of literary forms”.
During the residency, the selected writers will embark on a behind-the-scenes tour of the nation’s forests, spending time with the people who work there, and the wildlife that calls them home. To apply, writers are asked to submit a video or written pitch (maximum 500 words) outlining their vision.
Over several months, the writers will have unique access to some of England’s most loved and spectacular landscapes. The work they produce will be a conduit for engagement, inspiring people to connect with the trees and forests, the experiences they offer and wildlife that relies on woodlands to survive.
The two positions are paid - £2,500 - and the writers will receive mentoring support and guidance to shape their work. The work created will be published at the end of 2019, to coincide with the tree planting season. The commission says on its website: “Please send a current CV and pitch outlining your interest in the opportunity and how you might respond creatively to our nation’s forests. Spoken word or short story, poetry or prose … you decide.
“We will accept pitches in writing (max 750 words), video (3 max minutes via YouTube or via Dropbox/WeTransfer) or audio (max 3 minutes via SoundCloud).”
The Forestry Commission is celebrating its centenary year in 2019 with a cultural programme that reflects on its history, while looking forward to the next 100 years. The programme includes artistic works, wildlife surveys, activities for schoolchildren and projects designed to boost health and wellbeing. More details