Competition entries will be judged by a panel including the BBC's Kate Humble, and Caroline Chisholm, Head of Marketing and Communications at Earthwatch.
Caroline offers some advice for aspiring authors: "Nature writing can mean many things - it can be reflective, forward-looking, emotive and even humorous. You don't need to visit an exotic location or live in the countryside to be inspired. Some of the most evocative pieces of nature writing are based on everyday experiences of the natural world. Why not try and put your personal experience of nature into words? You never know, you might discover a hidden talent!"
The winner of the award will not only have their work published in BBC Wildlife Magazine, they will also be given the opportunity to join one of three Earthwatch expeditions. On Baja's Black Sea Turtles in Mexico, volunteers will work from small boats and sea kayaks to help researchers track and observe the behaviour of these rare turtles. On Samburu Communities and Wildlife you will work among local communities in Samburu, Kenya to monitor how large predators interact with human populations, visiting villages to investigate carnivore kill sites. On Dolphins of Greece you will help combat threats to dolphins by recording information on their population size, group composition and interactions with fishermen.
Pick up a copy of the March edition of BBC Wildlife Magazine for hints and tips about how to win, as well as full details and competition rules for the 2009 BBC Wildlife/ Earthwatch Nature Writer of the Year Award.
To enter the competition you must be aged 18 or over as of 1 January 2009. You can be a published writer, but the essay you submit must be original, your own work and never have been previously published in any media. Your essay should be no longer than 800 words. The closing date for entries is April 30th 2009.
This award is kindly supported by the Max Nicholson Fund.
For more information about Earthwatch call + 44 (0) 1865 318831.
Full details and competition rules for the 2009 BBC Wildlife/ Earthwatch Nature Writer of the Year Award are available in the March edition of BBC Wildlife Magazine, as well as at www.bbcwildlifemagazine.com.
The Max Nicholson Fund is named after the late conservationist, ornithologist, writer and civil servant, Max Nicholson, who in his lifetime helped found Earthwatch and WWF and inspired the creation of nature reserves and ecological research around the world.
Earthwatch has joined forces with BBC Wildlife Magazine to launch the 2009 BBC Wildlife/ Earthwatch Nature Writer of the Year Award. The prize is a place on one of three Earthwatch expeditions, with travel included, plus the publication of your essay in BBC Wildlife magazine.