Become a woodland writer in residence

Arnos Vale light in the canopy. Photo by Judy Darley

Forestry Commission England is seeking two writers to share the stories of our country’s woodlands.

They ask: “What do forests mean to you? If you’re a writer with a passion for nature, we want to hear from you.”

The successful applicants of the Writers in the Forest opportunity will be invited to observe the Commission’s expert foresters, wildlife rangers and world-class scientists at work in a bid to understand the trees that make up the forests that still sprawl across sections of England. The works created in response to these experiences will form part of the centenary year celebrations of the Forestry Commission.

You will receive unique access to England’s forests, promotional support and a platform on which to share your work, development opportunities and £2,500.

The submission deadline is midnight GMT on 14th January 2019.

To apply, you need to send your CV and a pitch outlining your interest in the opportunity and how you might respond creatively to our nation’s forests, whether that’s through poetry, short story or something else entirely, providing it is rooted in words.

Pitches can take the form of up to 750 written words, a video of maximum three minutes durations via YouTube or via Dropbox/WeTransfer, or up to three minutes of audio via SoundCloud.

They say: “We’re looking for innovation and imagination, and welcome all forms of storytelling.”

Find full details here:

The Owl Barn Residency seeks new artists in residence

Residency at The Owl BarnI absolutely love the sound of this place. Describing itself as a creative space in Gloucestershire for artists, makers and thinkers, The Owl Barn offers the chance to focus on your creativity, while engaging with the local community and the land.

It’s ideal if you’re keen to use your creative skills to make a real difference, as they run weekly art classes with local community groups, including a homeless shelter, an old people’s home and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre.

The Owl BarnIn exchange for three hours helping out around The Owl Barn each weekday, successful applicants will be offered a free studio space in the Owl Barn, a space to live in the Parlour below and basic food, mainly sourced from the gardens around the Owl Barn. If you’re interested, you’ll have the chance to learn about permaculture and food production through helping with the gardens, expansions to a young forest garden (I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds wonderful), planting out a pond, and growing delicious things in the polytunnel.

The Owl Barn are looking for residents to join then at the beginning of August for a three-month residency. “We will be looking for more residents later in the Autumn, so do get in touch if you are interested. We usually have four residents in the community at one time.”

For details visit or contact

To apply, please fill in the form on The Owl Barn website as soon as possible, as they expect to fill the vacancy sooner rather than later.

The Owl Barn residency

All images in this post have been supplied by The Owl Barn