More than words…

More than words...
Author Steve Walter

For 2020, Friends of the Earth in Tunbridge Wells is launching its first Poetry and Prose Competition.

We decided to launch it because we believe in the importance of celebrating and changing hearts and minds for the health of the planet.

The words of Greta Thunberg, for example, have been very powerful in recent months in shaping public opinion, and we’re offering a chance for the people of Tunbridge Wells to share their own voice publicly.

The broad theme for the inaugural competition is the environment: Climate change, and climate action, for the wellbeing of the planet, and whatever this might inspire in your writing at the current time.

We have chosen Earth Day 2020 – which this year falls on April 22 – as a focus as it is about climate action, and mobilising global support for positive measures to reverse climate change.

Friends of the Earth decided to launch a poetry competition because, personally speaking as a poet and author, I think poetry can be a particularly powerful way of expressing creatively every aspect of life, including emotion and concern for the planet.

We also decided to include a prose category as we recognise that not everybody likes poetry, or finds it the best way of expressing themselves.

As a result, we’ve included the option for anyone to say what they feel, creatively in prose, in any style they prefer, up to a maximum of 500 words.

The competition, which is now up and running, is open to anyone who lives, works or attends school in the borough of Tunbridge Wells. Entry is free and you can either enter two poems or one piece of prose. However, a donation to Tunbridge Wells Friends of the Earth is kindly invited, but not essential.

There will be a prize of £25 for the winner, donated by Making Connections Matter, and the judges are myself, Abegail Morley and Jill Munro.

The deadline for entries is midnight on Tuesday March 31, 2020, and the winners will be announced on Earth Day, Wednesday 22 April, 2020, at Trinity Theatre’s gallery.

Entries should be the author’s own work, and may have been previously published (if this is the case, the place of publication should be cited). Good luck – and happy writing!

To enter, send your poem (maximum 50 lines) or prose (maximum 500 words) by email to:

Remember to give the title of the poem, as well as your name, in the email, but not on the entry itself. No alterations can be made to your work once submitted. All winners will be notified prior to the Earth Day announcement on April 22.

For further information, email:

To find out more about Earth Day, visit:


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