WIZ kids: Call for nature writing by children

AMV’s companion blog Wilderness Interface Zone is on the search for an endangered species: children who spend time in nature and are willing to write about it.

Richard Louv’s book Last Child in the Woods makes the case that a beautiful, ages old relationship is on the rocks: children and nature have fallen out of love.  Say it isn’t so.  There must be some kids still getting out there, developing lightning-fast reflexes from chasing lizards, solving the whole-body puzzle of climbing a tree, honing their future driving skills by walking on logs across creeks, etc.

It’s in the hope that nature children still exist somewhere that Wilderness Interface Zone is issuing a call for nature poems and short essays written by children.  The works may address any aspect of nature and the child’s relationship to it.  Poems should be 50 lines or under and essays 150-1000 words.  If you have a budding nature photojournalist in your family, we’ll consider posting his or her photos.  Children ages 6-18 are invited to submit work to pk.wizadmin@gmail.com from July 6, 2010 to July 31, 2010.  Depending on how many submissions we get, we’ll post them in batches off and on July-August.  Parents and kids: Please review submission guidelines here before submitting.

Author: Patricia Karamesines

Patricia has been described as a poet, a novelist, a folklorist, an editor, and a literary critic. Certainly at times she behaves as if she were any and all of these and a few other things besides. Patricia grew up in the rural Virginia countryside, where she imprinted deeply upon the local flora and fauna. When she left the East to attend Brigham Young University in Utah she brought her impressionability with her, transferring it, perhaps irrevocably, to the desert Southwest. A literary nature journalist by nature, she does tend to write about the natural world … a lot. Whenever she can, she travels to the desert, the nearest place where the infinite becomes the obvious, and wanders from shimmering horizon to shimmering horizon (within reason). A firm believer in the dynamics of language, how language does things to and for people, and in the power of narrative for pro-creation and re-creation, and in the abilities of all language to multiply and replenish or to exploit and ravage, she is a constant explorer of The Possible. Her opinions are fluid, apt to change with the slightest revelatory experience or if, as she’s said elsewhere, magic words are uttered. She truly believes that she is always wrong and that the point of her life is to become less wrong—for her, a liberating concept. Patricia lives (at last!) in southeastern Utah with her husband Mark and their three children.

11 thoughts on “WIZ kids: Call for nature writing by children”

  1. Glad you like it. I hope others like it and that there are some youthful takers.

    Maybe I’ll need to turn over a few rocks …

  2. Last Child in the Woods is an excellent book. I think every parent should read it. Our society has changed so much and children just don’t spend much time outdoors in an unsupervised way.

  3. It is an excellent book. Not only did it give me thoughts to think about my kids but also it helped me to understand a few things about that out-of-doors kid still at play at my core.

  4. We’re fortunate in that we have a woods behind our house, separating the residential area from a city park by a pretty secluded meadow and a stream.

    The kids love it.

  5. No, but 7yo XX writes about other things. Actually, for her, I’m trying to find an art tutor.

    4.5yo XY doesn’t write yet.

  6. Just a reminder–

    July 31 is the last day children may submit work to Wilderness Interface Zone. (That’s not technically true–kids can submit anytime, but the end of July’s WIZ Kids is just around the corner.)

    If you’ve got a nature boy or girl who likes to map their outdoors experiences, please consider having them add their charts to the ones already up at WIZ.

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