Open Mountain 2021: Call for Submissions

Open Mountain: Unlocking the Landscape

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

In our third year our particular focus is on unlocking landscapes, big and small. What does it mean to you to gain access to a landscape, and how does it happen? Are there barriers to face, physical or psychological? We want to know about connections you have made with places and how you approach different green and living spaces, from plant-pots to local parks to mountain ranges and oceans. You could tell us about a place that makes you feel like there are no gates, no walls and no locks, or a place you’ve struggled to find the key to.

The John Muir Trust proudly supports Open Mountain

Submission Details

Submissions are sought for five-minute performance slots for a virtual event on Kendal Mountain Festival’s online platform. These can be pre-recorded if needed but there will also be a live Q&A discussion. Each writer will receive a fee of £100.

Submissions are invited from anyone who feels their voices and experiences are not currently reflected in mountain and outdoor literature, including Black writers, Indigenous writers, writers from ethnic, cultural and religious minorities, disabled writers, LGBTQ+ writers and low-income and working-class writers.

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 17th 2021

Email your entry as a single word document or pdf with the subject line ‘Open Mountain Submission’ to:

Selected writers will be informed on or by November 8th 2021.

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.

About Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

Our Literature 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 2021