My non-fiction piece ‘Crossings’, a labour of love featuring the toads of Smallwood, Cheshire and their incredible Spring migrations, was short-listed for two major awards, namely the inaugural Future Places Prize for Environmental Literature (UK) and the Van der Mey Prize for Non-Fiction (USA).

Paeans to toads are perhaps not the most obvious choice for essays, so it fills me with great pleasure, as well as hope, that ‘Crossings’ has been recognized on both sides of the Atlantic.

Described as “painful and thoughtful” by judge Jenn Ashworth, the piece follows what’s essentially a double journey: the toads’ actual migrations, back to their ancestral ponds for mating, and my own journey as a human, monitoring them every Spring.

You can read ‘Crossings’ in full here in the Future Places prize digital anthology.

Photo: Rebecca Wells