To celebrate 60 years of the Scottish Wildlife Trust, we’re inviting you to tell your story of Scotland’s wildlife and wild places.

Have you witnessed a wildlife spectacle that took your breath away? Or had a wildlife encounter that stopped you in your tracks? Which words would you use to describe these experiences?

In no more than 1,000 words, we would love you to share your #WordsOfTheWild by 31 August 2024.


One adult and one junior winner will be selected by our panel of judges and will receive an amazing prize bundle:

Adult winner (18 years and over)

Junior winner (Under 18 years)

Two runners-up in each category will also receive a year’s membership to the Trust or one of our wildlife adoptions.

Winners will be announced at an event at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 13 November, with the shortlisted candidates invited to attend.

Prizes generously donated by

How to take part

Here are some guidelines on what we’re looking for:

  • Your submission can be a poem, journalistic article, essay, letter, song lyrics or a short story.
  • Your entry can be fiction or non-fiction (i.e. imagined or real) but we are not looking for fantasy writing (so no imaginary animals) or writing about domesticated or farm animals. Entries must be connected to the native wildlife of Scotland.
  • Your submission should be no more than 1,000 words and must be an original piece of work that isn’t published anywhere else and has not been entered into other competitions.
  • Entries are limited to one per person.
  • Submissions must be sent before midnight on the 31 August 2024.

Once you’re ready to send us your submission, please fill out the form below (or send by post – see Terms and Conditions below for address):

Our judges

Your submission will be judged on its originality, creativity and inspirational qualities by our fantastic panel of judges…

Susi Briggs

Susi is a poet, author, storyteller, musician and podcaster. As the current Galloway Scots Scriever she takes much inspiration from the natural world and recently wrote a series of poems inspired by the life and works of Nan Shepherd.

Dr Mya-Rose Craig

Mya-Rose is a prominent British-Bangladeshi ornithologist, environmentalist and diversity activist as well as an author, speaker and broadcaster. At age 11 she started the popular blog Birdgirl, and at age 17 became the youngest person to see half of the birds in the world.

Rosamund De La Hey

Rosamund has spent her life in books – from reading under the covers by torch, to launching and promoting Harry Potter as Children’s Marketing Director at Bloomsbury. She moved home to Scotland in 2003 and in 2008, she and husband, Bill, opened The Mainstreet Trading Company in St Boswells.

Stephen Jardine

Stephen is one of Scotland’s best known broadcasters and journalists. As well as writing for The Times and The Scotsman, he hosts his own programme on BBC Radio Scotland. He has also been a Scottish Wildlife Trust Ambassador for many years.

Eoghan Stewart

Eoghan is an indigenous Gaelic poet. He has won the Wigtown Poetry Prize for Gaelic as well as the Skye Reading Room’s Baker Prize. His bilingual debut collection Beum-sgeithe brims with imagery drawn from the natural world.

Dr Kenny Taylor

Kenny is a writer, editor, conservationist and musician. He is the current Chair of the Scottish Wildlife Trust and is the editor of Northwords Now, a literary magazine showcasing contemporary creative writing from the Highlands and Islands.

Terms and Conditions 

Thank you for your interest in our Words of the Wild competition. It is important to read the following before submitting your entry:

  1. Entrants’ submissions and personal details (eg name and age) may be used in communications about, and promotion of, the campaign. No other information will be shared. You can withdraw your information/entry at any point. All personal data will be held in accordance with our privacy notice.
  2. Entries must be submitted via the online form above or by post, sent to: c/o Pete Haskell, Words of the Wild, Scottish Wildlife Trust, Harbourside House, 110 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6NF. Unfortunately, we cannot return entries submitted by post.
  3. The deadline for entries is 11:59pm on 31 August 2024. Late entries will not be considered.
  4. Scottish Wildlife Trust staff and immediate family members are excluded from entering the competition.
  5. Submissions must be in English, Scots or Gaelic. They must be no more than 1,000 words (excluding title) and must be an original piece of work written by the entrant that isn’t published anywhere (or in the process of being published) and has not been entered into other competitions. Copyright will remain with the author. 
  6. Entrants may only send one submission. If multiple entries are submitted by the same entrant, only the first will be considered for the competition and any additional entries disqualified.
  7. Submissions will be judged anonymously by an expert panel, who will judge submissions based on their originality, creativity and inspirational qualities. They will not be judged on spelling or grammar. The judges’ decision is final and there is no scope for feedback on individual entries.
  8. Winners will be announced at an event at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 13 November, with the shortlisted candidates invited to attend. Those shortlisted will be contacted in October.
  9. Every prize-giver is responsible for their own prize and the terms and conditions of that prize. No responsibility can be taken by the Scottish Wildlife Trust or any of the judges for the prizes, their safe delivery or redeeming them.
  10. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these Terms and Conditions. Entries that fail to comply with these Terms and Conditions will be disqualified.


Illustrations © Malini Chakrabarty

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