The new ‘Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize’ will celebrate and protect the rich culture and biodiversity found in Mediterranean ecoregions.
Competition launches: Tuesday 2 April 2019
Deadline for entries: Monday 24 June 2019
Competition winners announced: Tuesday 1 October 2019
Rooted Everyday is a new environmental campaign launched by a consortium of conservation organisations to raise awareness and celebrate lesser-known Mediterranean heritage and natural resources, whilst highlighting the threat of extinction to both nature and indigenous culture in the campaigns ecoregions.
WWF, Global Diversity Foundation, MedINA, DiversEarth and Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon have united their local biodiversity projects through this bold, new campaign funded by the MAVA Foundation.
This new short story competition is an opportunity to encourage awareness, understanding and the protection of Mediterranean culture and biodiversity.
The oak and cedar forests of the Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve in Lebanon stretch from Dahr Al-Baidar in the north to Niha Mountain in the south. It’s home to 2000 year old trees and is a conservation haven for wolves, the Lebanese jungle cat, Nubian Ibex, 250 species of bird, 31 species of reptiles and amphibians and 25 threatened species of wildlife. 520 species of plants grow there including 14 rare species. A popular destination for hiking and trekking many visitors come for bird watching, mountain biking and snowshoeing. The area is also home to over 70,000 people.
The adult 3000-word short story competition is free to enter for writers over 18. Writers should be resident or come from the Mediterranean ecoregions of Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Greece or Lebanon.
There is also a children’s Short Story competition for 7 – 18 year olds with entries sought from school pupils within Rooted Everyday ecoregions of Lemnos in Greece, High Atlas mountains in Morocco, Montados in Portugal and Shouf mountains in Lebanon.
Lily Mordechai Scientific Secretariat with MedINA said “We chose to make creative writing part of the campaign because storytelling is a powerful tool that is authentic, builds a personal and emotional connection and inspires action. By engaging writers and creative individuals we hope we will not only raise awareness but also hear stories of how people experience and perceive biodiversity and heritage in the Mediterranean.”
The UN has reported that a loss of biodiversity is as big a threat as climate change and this is now being reported regularly as more people understand the impact. Conservation groups working with rural entrepreneurs in the Mediterranean know that increasing support to people practicing traditional and sustainable ways of making a living is beneficial for the economy, human rights and the environment.
A selection of experienced readers and Judges has been chosen from each country. They will be looking for stories that address the conservation issues highlighted within the Rooted Everyday campaign. The purpose of the prize is to celebrate the rich biodiversity found in these ecoregions and to tell the stories of the people whose livelihoods depend on traditional and sustainable practices.
The Judges represent the languages spoken in the Rooted Everyday ecoregions and are writers with backgrounds in fiction, non-fictional, journalism, environmental media, publishing, academia and campaign activism.
The judges include Isabel Minhós Martins from Portugal, Brahim Elboukhari from Morocco, Maria Rousakis from Greece, Joaquin Araujo from Spain, Rania Masri from Lebanon and will be chaired by Amy Beeson from UK.
“Powerful writing about our lands, waters, plants, other animals, and our own relationships with the earth have the ability to change the way we see the environment, and thus have the ability to change our actions.” Writer and Professor Rania Masri
The Chair of the Rooted Everyday Mediterranean Short Story Prize Amy Beeson says “Stories change how we see the world. It’s urgent for our survival that more people see what’s truly at stake for people and planet and engage with it emotionally and personally. It’ll be a learning experience for me and every reader to see the world through new writers’ eyes and travel to new places and experience different ways of life through their stories.”
Stories that would suitable to be entered for the prize, could draw inspiration from the oral tradition of handing down tales in the ecoregions, struggles of the people, the richness of the land and the urgency for preserving it. Stories that are also encouraged could be of travel within the Mediterranean that explores the natural world and reveals the ways in which being rooted, can lead to change for people and planet.
Winners will get the opportunity to travel to their national eco-site which includes accommodation and guided tour. The Winner and the finalists will have their stories published in an international eBook.
Find out more about the projects and enter the competition: www.rootedeveryday.org/medstoryprize
Terms and Conditions:
Stories entered for the prize must be original and previously unpublished. Writers will retain copyright of their work and agree for it to be used as part of Rooted Everyday communications.
Languages Stories must be written in either: English, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese or
Full Terms and Conditions in all languages: www.rootedeveryday.org/medstoryprize
Children’s Competition: Schools and organisers are responsible for selecting the top five entries from their students to go forward to the judging panel. Lesson plans to help shape the children’s writing will be offered to schools participating in the competition.
Each country will have a national winner for each category of the children’s prize. The prize includes:
• A selection of books, book tokens and merchandise
• Promotional support to share your story on our platforms
• Story featured in e-book
Rania Masri PhD is a political ecologist, environmental justice activist, and the regional coordinator for the Academic Activist Co-Produced Knowledge for Environmental Justice (http://acknowlej.org / https://ejatlas.org).
Her writings have centred on issues of ecological sustainability, environmental politics, and social movements. She has also written and organized extensively against the sanctions on Iraq and the occupation of (all) Palestine, as well as civil and environmental rights. Most recently, Rania concluded her tenure as the Associate Director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University of Beirut, and is now teaching at the Lebanese American University.
Rania has also served as an environmental science professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental Sciences at the University of Balamand in Lebanon (2005-2014), the Environment and Energy Policy Specialist as the UNDP-Regional Office in Cairo (2012-2013), and Director of the Southern Peace Research and Education Centre at the Institute for Southern Studies in North Carolina (in the US). Rania holds a PhD in Forestry from North Carolina State University (2001), and a Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University (1995).
Chair: Amy Beeson is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, scriptwriting, copywriting and communications. Amy has co-written with Sarah Beeson MBE two memoirs The New Arrival, Our Country Nurse and a parenting guide Happy Baby, Happy Family published by HarperCollins in paperback, eBook and audiobook. She is currently writing a debut novel How To Be A Good Wife.
Amy runs Wordsby a branding and communications agency that works closely with the Rooted Everyday campaign. She studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia followed by an MA in Writing and Performance for Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York. She has won prizes for poetry, had several plays performed and was a young playwright at the Birmingham Rep where she met her husband writer Takbir Uddin. They now live in London with their daughter, Ava.
More information: https://www.rootedeveryday.org
Twitter @RootedEveryday Facebook /RootedEveryday Instagram @RootedEveryday
About the campaign:
The Rooted Everyday campaign is run by a core team of environmentalists who are working with projects, eco-regions and partners from across the Mediterranean.
Our mission is to reverse the loss of biodiversity which is caused when people stop cultural practices that have existed for generations. By working with Mediterranean critical eco-regions and partners we aim to show the value traditional ways of life can have in protecting our environment. By supporting Rooted Everyday projects and campaigns you’re standing up for conservation and Mediterranean heritage.
The Rooted Everyday eco-regions are in Lemnos in Greece led by the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA), the High Atlas mountains in Morocco led by the Global Diversity Foundation (GDF), the Shouf Biosphere Reserve in Lebanon led by the Society for the Protection of Nature Lebanon (SPNL), and the Dehesas and Montados in Spain and Portugal led by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Trashumancia y Naturaleza. DiversEarth is also part of the core team. Other campaign partners working across the Mediterranean are IUCN, Yolda Initiative in Turkey and GOB Menorca.
The projects and campaign are funded by the MAVA Foundation for Nature. The campaign and communications are created with Wordsby Communications.