The Essex Book Festival presents the Green Shoots writing competition, for writers aged between 18 to 28 who wish to develop their craft whilst helping to protect the environment. Free entry.

We will be accepting English-written prose pieces, of no more than 2.000 words. All pieces must be eco-themed.
Submissions will be open until the 31st of March 2021 at 23:59. However, don’t leave it until the last moment, as late submissions won’t be considered!

For submitting your piece, send it as a PDF document to before the aforementioned deadline. Don’t include your name in the document or the document’s name. Please indicate your name, surname, date of birth and email on the body of the email you send your submission in.

Your submissions will be thoroughly evaluated by experienced professionals from the editorial and publishing industries. The judges will be:

  • Camilla Shestopal, Literary Agent, and Trustee of Essex Book Festival
  • Dr James Canton, Author and Academic (University of Essex)
  • Peter Donaldson, Trustee of Essex Book Festival, and Owner of Red Lion Books (Winner: Independent Bookshop of the Year 2018 (South East)
  • Marina Cusi, Winner of ‘Best Original Writing’ and Student (University of Essex)


  • 1st Prize: One-to-one session with renowned literary agent Camilla Shestopal, plus a £25 voucher from Red Lion Books.
  • 2 highly-commended prizes: £25 voucher from Red Lion Books.

All winners will be offered a one-day Writer’s Hot Desk at Essex Writer’s House in Southend (UK) between June – August 2021.

Winners will be announced on Sunday 6th June at the launch of next year’s Essex Book Festival.


  • Each participant can submit a maximum of one piece of writing
  • Each piece can be maximum 2.000 words long
  • All pieces must be eco-themed, eg: global warming, sustainability, a natural catastrophe in a dystopian future… As long as the piece contains some eco-focused elements, the world is your oyster!
  • No late entries will be considered
  • All pieces must be written in English
  • All pieces must be written in prose. No poetry or script writing will be evaluated in this occasion
  • The submitted pieces must be original, non-published work
  • Any form of plagiarism within a piece will mean the participant will be disqualified from the competition