Back from the Brink needs YOU to imagine a future for the plants and animals of the UK!

Writing has always helped us to imagine possibilities for ourselves and the world around us. They need your imagination to support two projects saving endangered species: the Willow Tit Project, and Ancients of the Future, who are working to protect 28 threatened species which live in ancient trees, including the Violet Click Beetle, the Royal Splinter Cranefly, Eagle’s-claw Lichen, Coral-tooth Fungi, Knothole Moss and the Noctule Bat.

The Willow Tit is found in post-industrial landscapes, excavating their own nest holes in rotting deadwood, and making a life in areas we might consider wastelands. What unexpected alliances might we have with plants and animals? What life might spring up in places we’ve written off?

Ancient trees provide homes for 2000 species, whole ecosystems inside and around them. The young trees we are planting now will watch our world change. What might they see? And how can we protect them?

Back From The Brink is creating an anthology of poetry and fiction inspired by these projects, and the wider question of how we take care of the world around us as our ways of living change.

Get inspired by the projects, and then send them your speculative stories and sci-fi poems. They’re not looking for bleak dystopias, but for work which thinks about how humans and non-human beings relate to each other, and which imagines ways that we can create better relationships between us. They are particularly looking for work which includes with the species the projects are working with in some way. You can find more information about the projects on the Back From The Brink website.

The anthology will be launched in March 2020. It will be available as an ebook on the Back From The Brink website and promoted by the projects and their partners (including wide distribution via members’ newsletters), as well as through ebook retailers and in a limited edition of hard copies.

The deadline for submissions is 15th December 2019, and they will endeavour to let you know the outcome by early February. Simultaneous submissions are welcome, and they will consider previously published work if it fits with the theme.

Email your submissions to backfromthebrink@rspb.org.uk. You can send up to three poems or 2000 words of fiction.

Funded by Heritage Lottery Fund and the People’s Postcode Lottery

“I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive technologies, to other ways of being. And even imagine some real grounds for hope.” – Ursula le Guin