Nature Speaks!
A web3 creative writing competition for nature writers, eco-ventriloquists, insect whisperers, megafauna-fanatics, plant-people, biomimics, and mycologically-minded poets.

THE CHALLENGE
Write an original work of prose or poetry in the ‘voice’ or from the point of view of one or more nonhuman organisms (plant/animal) or any other aspect of nature. Submissions are limited to 1,000 words.

WHY A WRITING COMPETITION?

We at Sovereign Nature Initiative believe that art empowers wider and wilder engagement with our world and the mysteries of nonhuman life. We believe that writing with and for nature can broaden human perception and help us question nature’s otherness. We read the natural world as a collection of perspectives we can try to understand through acts of radical imagination. We believe that storytelling can empower and inspire human communities to listen and look more carefully, to smell, taste, and touch the deeply entangled world around us.

We are inspired by storytellers and thinkers like Rainer Maria Rilke, Sophie Strand, Richard Powers, Wendi Yan, and Robert Macfarlane.

For the Nature Speaks! competition, we invite you to submit an original piece of writing that closely examines nature, enabling it to ‘speak’ in whatever way you wish. We don’t presume this is a simple task of empathy and encourage you to express the difficulty of imagining a nonhuman perspective in your writing. Consider formal experimentation, creative use of tenses, and grammar. The work will be published in English though you may submit works in translation (a bilingual/trilingual format would be welcome).

We welcome imaginative translations of whale languages, verbal interpretations of fractal patterns made by fungal spores, migration songs, and tree-rings’ rooted epics.
THE PRIZES

The grand prize winner will see their writing made into an NFT by *Unique Network. The winner will also receive a token prize, be published on SNI’s website, and featured at SNI’s Experimental Zone event held at Amsterdam’s De Ceuvel space in May 2022.

Runners-up will receive a token prize, be published on SNI’s website, and featured at SNI's Experimental Zone event. Submitted work must be previously unpublished (online or otherwise).

Our panel of judges includes celebrated nature writer Sophie Strand as well as web3-poet pioneer Ana Maria Caballero, along with SNI’s Writer In Residence Seth Bockley.

*Unique Network operates on a proof-of-stake blockchain which keeps the CO2 emissions of the minting process much lower than on the more common proof-of-work blockchains. For every resale of the NFT, 10% of royalties will be donated to a rewilding or conservation campaign designated by the artist and SNI at the time of the NFT’s creation.

WHAT'S NEXT?

Submissions are due March 15 via this form.

Questions? Contact kaidlyne@sovereignnature.com