Open Mountain

Open Mountain: Affording Access

Open Mountain as a project is focused on connection with nature and wild places, and on redefining mountain literatures and cultures to include voices and experiences often excluded or invalidated.

This year, with the escalating cost of living crisis on top of the ongoing pandemic making it harder than ever for many people to access the outdoors, our particular focus is on affording access. What keeps us away from wild places, or from local pockets of greenness? What costs do we pay for access, whether financially, socially, physically or mentally? What if we cannot afford access or access is denied us? Can connecting with nature really help us through bleak times?

In this, our fourth year, Open Mountain is proud once again partnering with the John Muir Trust

Submission Details

Submissions are sought for five-minute performance slots for an online reading and discussion event on Kendal Mountain Festival’s online platform. These can be pre-recordered if needed but there will also be a live Q&A discussion that we would love each writer to take part in where possible. 

Submissions are invited from anyone who feels their voice and experiences are not currently reflected in mountain and outdoor literature, including writers from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, disabled writers, LGBTQ+ writers, POC writers, Indigenous writers, low-income and working-class writers. Each writer will receive a fee of £50.

We welcome submissions in any genre and style – including poetry, spoken word, nonfiction and fiction – so long as they focus on place, nature and/or outdoor cultures.

How to Submit

- up to 1000 words of prose or 2 pages of poetry.- 200-500 words introducing your work and why you think it fits the brief.- your name, address and email address.

Deadline: midnight, October 23rd 2022Email your entry as a single word document or pdf with the subject line ‘Open Mountain Submissions to: writers will be informed on or by November 3rd 2022.

The John Muir Trust proudly supports Open Mountain

About Open Mountain

Open Mountain is a new voice in mountain and outdoor literature - a project to focus on inclusion in and connection with wild places, and on redefining mountain literatures & cultures to include voices & experiences often excluded or invalidated.

Created out of a discussion with poet Kate Davies and then developed with poet Polly Atkin and writer Anita Sethi and with support from Robert Macfarlane we want to change those conversations: to open the mountain to everyone.

You can watch the 2020 Open Mountain session by clicking the button below.

About Kendal Mountain Book Festival

Our Book Festival is a chance to explore and celebrate our relationship and connection with landscape, nature, people, and place. We want to bring all that imagination and experience; whether embodied or virtual, to provoke, inspire, and ensure the survival of wilderness and creativity. Our diverse programme of events features some of the UK’s foremost authors of nature, landscape and mountain literature.

© Kendal Mountain Festival 2023