Helen Macdonald, award-winning author of H is for Hawk, will judge The Moth Nature Writing Prize 2021. The Prize will be awarded to an unpublished piece of prose or poetry which best combines exceptional literary merit with an exploration of the writer’s relationship with the natural world.

The prize is open to anyone over the age of sixteen, as long as the work is original and previously unpublished. The winning piece will be published in the winter issue of The Moth, and the winner will receive €1,000 and a week-long stay at Circle of Misse in France. Closing date 15 September 2021.

‘I wish that we would not fight for landscapes that remind us of who we think we are. I wish we would fight, instead, for landscapes buzzing and glowing with life in all its variousness.’ Helen Macdonald

‘The answer to the still present threat of a silent spring is for us to sing against the storm.’ Richard Mabey, 2020 judge
‘What a great competition to be running.’ Robert Macfarlane


Helen Macdonald is a writer, poet, naturalist and historian of science. Her book H is for Hawk won many prizes, including the Samuel Johnson Prize, the Costa Book of the Year, the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger in France, and in the US was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and lives in Suffolk.


1st prize €1,000 plus a week at Circle of Misse in France. The Moth Nature Writing Prize is open to anyone (over 16) as long as their piece is previously unpublished. The word limit is 4,000 and there is an entry fee of €15. This year’s judge is Helen Macdonald, author of H is for Hawk. Closing 15 September 2021. See for details.


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