Connect with us


Come on children! This is your chance to be published in The Guardian | Wildlife Story-level




Once again, the Young Country Diary series is open for submissions! Every three months, as the UK enters a new season, we ask you to send us a text written by a child between the ages of 8 and 14.

The article must be about a recent encounter they have had with nature – whether it’s a chorus at dawn, a pond full of frogs or climbing a mountain.

Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter if the child is a nature expert or has never picked up a pair of binoculars. We are especially interested in reaching teachers who would like to have their class outdoors and observe nature.

Six winning entries will be published in The Guardian newspaper and online: two on March 18, then two in April and two in May. In June, we will launch a new call for summer pieces.

Please note that if you submit your article earlier, you have a chance that it will be published on March 18.

How can your child participate?

First of all, we are looking for children from 8 to 14 years old, so we will need your permission, as a parent or guardian. So this is what the child should do:

step 1 – Go out one day where there is some nature. It could be your local forest or beach, your garden, a farm, or just the nearest park.

Step 2 – Write an article 200-250 words telling us what they saw and what happened.

step 3 – Send us the article using the following form. We ask that you complete the form yourself instead of the child.

Photos/drawings – These are useful (especially landscape instead of portrait) but are not a condition of entry. If you have any, please tell us in the “more information” field, as there is no way to attach it to the form.

Photographer: PhotoAlto/Eric Audras/Getty Images

Hints and tips for budding YCD writers

If your child gets stuck and doesn’t know what to write about, here are some tips:

Good writing starts with the senses, so what did you see and hear? What about smell and touch? Take notes when you’re away from home so you don’t forget

How would you describe what happened? Did it remind you of something?

It’s great to look up additional information about what you saw and tell us about that too. For example, if you find an interesting looking insect, see if you can figure out what kind of butterfly it was, how long it lives, anything juicy!

You can think big and describe the whole scene: the sky, the horizon, the landscape. Or you can think small and tell us a few details about the wings of the butterfly or the markings of the beetle.

What did your encounter with nature make you think about? How did it make you feel?

Deadline for entry is noon Wednesday March 29. Anyone can enter your child who is aged between 8 and 14 and based in the UK. You, the parent/guardian, will be contacted if your child’s work is selected for publication and paid on behalf of the child.

For more inspiration, here are some recent Young Country journals:
Bonnie, 11, in a winter swim in the sea
Hannah, 10, on why mud is the best
John, 10, on hunting for fossils

Good luck to you all!

Paul Fleckney, editor of Young Country Diary and Country Diary

We ask that the parent/guardian complete the form below, instead of their child. Your responses are secure as the form is encrypted and only The Guardian has access to your contributions. One of our journalists will contact you, as a parent or guardian, before we publish, so please leave your contact details.

You can send your child’s entry using the form below.

“,”tagName”:”callout-young-country-diary-spring-2023″,”formFields”:[“_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165989″,”type”:”text”,”name”:”parent_or_guardians_name”,”required”:true,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Parent or guardian’s name”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165990″,”type”:”text”,”name”:”location_of_diary”,”required”:true,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Location of diary”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165991″,”type”:”text”,”name”:”childs_name”,”required”:false,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Child’s name”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165992″,”type”:”text”,”name”:”childs_age”,”required”:false,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Child’s age”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165993″,”type”:”textarea”,”name”:”share_your_childs_article_here_150__250_words”,”required”:true,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Share your child’s article here (150 – 250 words)”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldRadio”,”id”:”140165994″,”type”:”radio”,”name”:”can_we_publish_this_piece”,”required”:true,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Can we publish this piece?”,”options”:[“label”:”Yes, entirely”,”value”:”Yes, entirely”,”label”:”Yes, but contact me first”,”value”:”Yes, but contact me first”,”label”:”Yes, but please keep me anonymous”,”value”:”Yes, but please keep me anonymous”,”label”:”No, this is information only”,”value”:”No, this is information only”],”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165995″,”type”:”email”,”name”:”parent_or_guardians_email_address_”,”description”:”Your contact details are helpful so we can contact you for more information. They will only be seen by the Guardian.”,”required”:true,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Parent or guardian’s email address “,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165996″,”type”:”text”,”name”:”parent_or_guardians_phone_number”,”required”:false,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”Parent or guardian’s phone number”,”_type”:”model.dotcomrendering.pageElements.CalloutFormFieldBase”,”id”:”140165997″,”type”:”textarea”,”name”:”you_can_add_more_information_here”,”required”:false,”hideLabel”:false,”hidden”:false,”label”:”You can add more information here”],”isNonCollapsible”:true,”elementId”:”b3684962-6e02-460c-983d-704e75ac696c””>

share your experience

You can submit your child’s entry using the form below.

Your responses, which may be anonymous, are secure as the form is encrypted and only The Guardian has access to your contributions. We will only use the data you provide for the function and we will delete the personal data when we no longer need it for this purpose. For true anonymity, use our SecureDrop service in place.

Copyright © 2023 Story Level Media.