Do you have what it takes to be a nature writer? Find out by entering BBC Wildlife magazine's fourth annual nature-writing competition in association with international environmental charity Earthwatch.
The winning entry, selected by a panel of judges including ‘Springwatch' presenter Kate Humble, will be published in BBC Wildlife Magazine. The top prize includes a place on one of three Earthwatch expeditions. Three runners-up, as well as the overall winner, will be published on one of the world's most visited wildlife websites: www.discoverwildlife.com.
Volunteers in the Peruvian Amazon live aboard the Ayapua.
Earthwatch's Jane Nijssen, one of the competition judges says, "The nature writer of the year competition is a great opportunity for budding authors to develop their writing skills and for the winners to show off their talent to a huge audience in a national magazine. When people write about a subject that they are passionate about, they often surprise themselves with how easily the words flow. Get out, get inspired by nature and have a go!"
Up for grabs is a fantastic prize of a place on one of Earthwatch's unique expeditions: on South Africa's Scavenger Species the winner will scour South Africa's North West Province for hyaenas, vultures and other scavengers to better understand their vital role in this spectacular ecosystem; on Amazon Riverboat Exploration they will join boat-based surveys of river dolphins, giant otters, caiman and macaws, and land-based surveys of peccaries, monkeys and birds; or on Mammals of Nova Scotia they will explore the rugged Nova Scotia coastline and study its wildlife to help provide valuable data about the impacts of climate change.
A porcupine in Nova Scotia.
Entries should be original, unpublished and no more than 800 words long. They will be judged blind - with no knowledge of the writers' identity.
Details about the competition, including full terms and conditions, can be found in the March 2011 issue of BBC Wildlife magazine, on sale on 17 February 2011. The closing date for entries is 30 April 2011.