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Story in Nature 2024 winners announced

The Tree Council

February 2, 2024

Following a record number of submissions from nature-loving young people the length and breadth of the UK, we are very excited to announce the winners of this year’s Story in Nature writing competition, delivered with The Week Junior Science+Nature.

Once again, our judges were blown away by the originality, positivity and passion on display in this year’s shortlist and making a final selection of winners was as tough as ever!

This year, our regular judges, Sara Lom (CEO, The Tree Council), Dan Green (Editor, The Week Science + Nature) and Harry Munt (Tree Council young ambassador and published writer) were joined by special guests, author Natasha Farrant and veterinarian, author and presenter, Jess French.

There were four categories up for grabs: Poetry – Under 11; Poetry 11-16; Prose – Under 11 and Prose 11-16.

The winners

Poetry – Under 11 & overall winner

Special congratulations to Cotty (9) from Essex, whose poem ‘Gymnastics in Nature’ not only won the category, but was also chosen as the overall competition winner.

The judges loved the infectious energy and passion that burst from Cotty’s original poem, which they felt truly captured the awe-inspiring wonders of nature that Cotty celebrates through her everyday life.

Dan Green, editor of The Week Junior Science+Nature, told us:

“I really enjoyed judging this and we were particularly impressed by the sheer joy in Cotty’s poem. I really liked the bit at the end where she said that nature just put a bit of wildness in her soul.”

The judges also awarded a special commendation in this category to Grace (5) for her untitled poem about tulips.

Prose – Under 11

Sonny (10) from Tyne and Wear won for his piece ‘Ardea The Heron’. The judges felt the piece had an amazing use of language and loved Sonny’s use of colour, description, senses, history and biology, displaying a great connection to nature.

A special commendation in this category was also awarded to Arran (8) for ‘The Melancholy Willow Tree’.

Poetry – 11-16

Faith (15) from Cornwall won the Poetry – 11-16 category with her poem ‘One Love’. Commended by the judges its relatability and uniqueness, they loved how genuine, moving and engaging the piece is, and praised Faith’s thoughtful use of language.

A special commendation in this category was also awarded to Connor (11) for ‘I am Nature’.

Prose – 11-16

Final congratulations go to Erin (11) from Manchester for her thrilling account of a hunt through the eyes of a wolf, ‘The Chase’. Our judges felt the rough realism, engaging structure and changes of pace contributed to a brilliant piece of story-telling.

The judges also awarded a special commendation in this category to Evie (12) for ‘Backpack Living’.

We’d like to thank everyone who entered the competition for sharing their tree-filled, nature-loving stories and poems. Congratulations to our winners!

All winning, commended, and shortlisted entries are now available to read in The Story in Nature anthology, available on The Tree Council’s Young Tree Champions website.

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