Pen to paper in honour of trees

We are delighted to announce the shortlist of writers whose poetry and prose appears in this year’s Urban Tree Festival edition of CANOPY which is published today!

Earlier this year we ran a competition in which we asked people to submit a poem or a story of 250 words or under on the theme of ‘trees close to you’ – we received over 100+ entries and from these, our volunteer judges selected a shortlist. You can meet the shortlisted authors on-line and hear them read their work in our WRITE ABOUT TREES showcase at 4.30pm on Sunday 23 May – read more and book your ticket from here.


Gabriel Burrow

Gabriel is a writer and editor based in London. He spends his time thinking about the future, which is exciting and terrifying all at once. @gabrielburrow – shortlisted for story: Bonsai

Alison Clark

Alison Clark is a freelance designer who enjoys writing and loves a map. She infrequently tweets as @allielovestea and posts maps at – shortlisted for story: The Potted tree

Georgia Cook

Georgia Cook is an illustrator and fantasy writer from London. She can be found on twitter at @georgiacooked and at – shortlisted for story: The trees near me

Charis Fox

Charis Fox lives in Leicestershire and loves exploring the British countryside with a flask of coffee – shortlisted for poetry: Giving thanks

Chris Cuninghame

Christopher Cuninghame lives in east London and has worked internationally. He plays music sometimes, closing the windows if he remembers – shortlisted for poetry: Onlooker

Sandra Horn

Sandra Horn is an award-winning children’s author and poet. Her work has been published in anthologies and in literary magazines – shortlisted for poetry: Urban beech tree II

Peter Isaacson

Peter Isaacson is a fencing contractor and estate worker who lives in the Inner Hebrides – shortlisted for poetry: Hebridean Christmas Tree

Sarah McPherson

Sarah McPherson is a Sheffield-based writer of short fiction and poetry. She tweets as @summer_moth and blogs at – shortlisted for poetry: Beyond the margins

Tom Raw

Tom Raw is originally from London. His somewhat patchy CV includes a tiny bit of writing, some trees, and working with wood. Instagram: @raw_tom – shortlisted for story: The wild beneath

E.E. Rhodes

E. E. Rhodes is an archaeologist who lives in Worcestershire, with her partner, a lot of books, and a horde of mice in the wainscotting. @electra_rhodes – shortlisted for story: Counting Cherry stones & for poetry: Dod yn ôl at fy nghoed

Robert Seatter

Published five poetry collections, latest coming May 2021: The Museum of Everything (Seren). Works at BBC as Head of BBC History. – shortlisted for poetry: Things I learned from the copper beech

Andrew Simms

Andrew Simms is an author, political economist and campaigner. He is co-director of the New Weather Institute, coordinator of the Rapid Transition Alliance. Twitter @AndrewSimms_uk – shortlisted for poetry: On the common

Rachel Sloan

Rachel Sloan is an art historian, curator and writer. Her writing has appeared in Stonecrop Review, STORGY, and was Highly Commended in the 2020 Bridport Prize – shortlisted for story: Daphne

Sarah Wheeler

Erstwhile lawyer, aspiring writer, frazzled mother. Sometime Londoner, returned to my rural roots. Now often found outside, with a double expresso, talking to hens. Twitter: @hill_wheeler – shortlisted for story: Lincoln’s Inn Fields & My Blackthorn is a tree

Our competition judges were:

For poetry:

Ghazal Mosadeq is an Iranian-Canadian writer, poet and translator based in London. She is the founder of Pamenar Press, an independent cross-cultural, multi-lingual publisher based in UK, Canada and Iran. Mosadeq’s work has been performed internationally at festivals such as the Inishbofin Festival, Surrey Poetry Festival, Po-Ex Symposium Chile, among others. Her writings have been published by Words Without Borders, Poetry Wales, Boiler House Press, The Stand Magazine, Hesterglock Press, Vanguard Press, Tentacular and Oversound. She has published three poetry collections, Dar Jame Ma (2010), Biographies (2015), and Supernatural Remedies for Fatal Seasickness (2018). She lives in a home jungle of apartment plants.

Dr Samantha Walton is a poet and non-fiction writer, whose books include Self Heal (2018), a collection of poems about nature and the self, and The Living World (2020), the first literary study of the Scottish nature writer Nan Shepherd. She’s soon to publish a book about the deep history of the ‘nature cure’ Everybody Needs Beauty (Bloomsbury, July 2021) exploring the science and stories behind this relationship, and considering how the climate crisis will affect our mental health.

For prose:

NG Bristow is a screen writer, director and visual artist. He is rooted at Goldsmiths University of London, where he runs the MA in Directing Fiction. An award-winning filmmaker and installation artist whose practice encompasses classical narrative, expanded cinema, and para-cinema. Past work in these categories includes: CONTROL , winner of the Louis Mitchell award for best feature / short at Action on Film festival 2016. UNSOUND, showcase premiere at SXSW. Using the prototype Sensum Emotional Response Cinema technology, the film recomposes its narrative in real time based on bio-feedback from the audience. He has been commissioned by: FilmFour, C4, BBC, UKFC, BFI, NIFC, NI Screen and the Arts Council.

Rebekah Lattin-Rawstrone is a prize-winning writer, editor, reviewer and creative writing teacher. Her novel, Home, about a corrupt care home, is published by Red Button Publishing and Glitches, her short story chapbook, is published by Acorn Books. A creative writing lecturer in several settings for over ten years, devising and delivering workshops for City, University of London (MA and Short Courses), Bishopsgate Institute, Emmanuel & Pembroke Colleges Cambridge, the Guardian and the Graham Greene Festival. She currently teaches on City’s Novel Studio and runs City Writes, a showcase event for students and alumni of Creative Writing Short Courses at City, University of London. Rebecca is also the anthology editor.


The Canopy anthology is beautifully illustrated by Alban Low and published by his family’s 300 year old publishing company Sampson Low Publishers. Buy it now

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