Contests for Environmental Writing

We’ve assembled a small (but growing) list of contests devoted to environmental writing. If you have something to add, please contact us.

Banff Mountain Book Competition

Awards for a variety of genre, including the best writing in mountain and adventure literature, adventure travel, mountain fiction, mountain image, mountaineering articles, mountain environment and natural history, mountaineering history, and guidebooks.

Bell Prize (High Country News)

The Bell Prize honors thoughtful writing about the West by writers aged 18 to 25. We’re looking for stories about what it means to inhabit the Western U.S. at this time in history, whether essays, opinions, polemics or screeds. Topics are endless but could include climate change, water, drought, wildlife, public lands, Indigenous sovereignty, wildlife, wildfire, ecosystem restoration, renewable and nonrenewable energy, environmental history, outdoor recreation and any creative commingling of these topics.

Gingko Prize for Ecopoetry

The Prize aims to highlight the role poetry can play in raising awareness, gaining insight, and provoking concern for the ecological imperatives of our time.

Nan Shepherd Prize

The Nan Shepherd Prize is a competition to find the next voice in nature writing. It aims not only to celebrate nature writing but provide an inclusive platform for new and emerging nature writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction

The Bellwether Prize was created to promote fiction that addresses issues of social justice and the impact of culture and politics on human relationships. Established by Barbara Kingsolver in 2000 and funded entirely by her, it is awarded biennially to the author of a previously unpublished novel of high literary caliber that exemplifies the prize’s founding principles. 

Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

Established in 2014, the Siskiyou Prize is looking for work that redefines our notions of environmentalism and sustainability, particularly when it comes to animal protection. “New environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife.

The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize

The Wainwright Prize seeks to reward the best writing on the outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing and is sponsored by Wainwright Golden Beer. The prize will be awarded to the work which best reflects Wainwright’s core values of Great British writing and culture and a celebration of the outdoors.

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