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PRESS RELEASE: The Writing Contest that Planted a Forest


Boy from Kundeni Primary School by the Word ForestA little publishing house based in Lyme Regis, Dorset has just launched a global writing contest with very big heart. The third Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, or MOLP3 as it’s fondly known, opened for entries on 1st September. It remains the only competition in the world to plant a tree for every single entry.

This reforestation initiative is the idea of Tracey West, an author on sustainability and co-founder of Magic Oxygen Publishing. Their writing contests have left an impressive green footprint on the competition circuit, paid out over £6,000 in prize money and elicited thousands of entries from 60 countries. They are also responsible for a Word Forest in Bore, Kenya, now eleven times the size of Wembley Stadium.

Their forestry expertise comes from tree planting guru, Ru Hartwell, who has planted hundreds of thousands of trees all over the world. He has first-hand knowledge of Bore and knows how greatly it has suffered from deforestation. Ru is currently in Bore helping the villagers build a Forest Centre which will provide accommodation and education for people who want to help, and perhaps emulate, the reforestation project.

The Forest Centre, Bore, Kenya under constructionRu explains: ‘All humans share the same atmosphere. Every time we burn fossil fuels, we increase the amount of carbon up there for everybody. Luckily, the reverse is also true, so every time we plant a tree, a little bit of that carbon is removed. The planet’s tropical and equatorial forests are pivotal in keeping the earth cool, therefore Bore is the perfect location to help slow down climate change.’

‘The Word Forest is also reintroducing biodiversity and providing this remote African community with medicines, food, water purifiers, protection from the elements and a long-term income stream. MOLP is the only contest where everybody wins!’

Simon West is the other half of Magic Oxygen and an IT specialist. He wrote bespoke software that allowed the 19 judges of MOLP2 who reside in 6 countries on 4 continents, to assess the entries remotely, which kept the carbon footprint down to an absolute minimum. He also issues electronic certificates to the contest entrants with clickable GPS coordinates of their trees.

Simon adds: ‘Alex Katana is the resident Project Manager in Bore and once the trees have been planted, he walks through the forest and registers their exact location on a GPS logger. In time – and as Google Maps update their images – entrants will be able to watch the fruits of their labours grow.’

children in their new classroom 2016In addition to trees, previous MOLP contests also funded the construction of an urgently needed new classroom at Kundeni Primary School in the same community.

The finished building was handed over to the headmaster James Kithi in June. Their 300 students only had one safe classroom to study in and the addition of the new class has had a positive impact on their education.

Tracey comments: ‘The £5.00 entry fee for MOLP3 will buy a tree and some building materials for a further classroom. They desperately need it for study, but also, many of the students sleep at the school as it’s too far to walk home. The teachers work incredibly hard to juggle the lessons so as many as possible can study inside with protection from the harsh elements. Seeing photos of the one we’ve just finished full of children, is the only inspiration I need to make a noise about MOLP3!’

‘I don’t want our initiative to be unique, I want it to be pioneering! Other literary contest organisers could plant trees for each entry, uncovering brilliant creative writing and leaving an environmental legacy too.’

Visit for more details, to purchase the anthology from MOLP1 or 2 (for which they’ll plant another tree) and to enter MOLP3 and be part of the magic.



Kundeni ClassroomHigh res images and further quotes available on request.

Simon West: Editor: Magic Oxygen Publishing
Telephone: 07896 884 114
Email:   [email protected]

Ru Hartwell: Magic Oxygen Word Forest Coordinator
Telephone: 07773 001 132
Email:   [email protected]

Competition In Brief:

Magic Oxygen Word Forest nursery, Bore, KenyaMOLP3 is sponsored by eco resort, Bunaken Oasis

Short Stories: up to 4,000 words
Poetry: up to 50 lines
Entry fee £5 per submission
Age 16+ at the time of submission
Open for worldwide electronic and postal submissions, aged 16+
Open for Entries: 1st September 2016
Closing Date: 31st December 2016

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Literary Prize Press Release

Magic Oxygen Literary Competition to Create a Tropical Word Forest

Writing competition closing dates punctuate the diary of many a creative writer and there’s little more tempting than a four figure 1st prize and the promise of going into print, to get the ideas flowing.

front_loresMagic Oxygen Publishing in Dorset, run by Tracey and Simon West, has just launched a new annual prize for literary excellence in short stories and poetry.

It has an impressive prize fund of £1,000 1st, £300 2nd, £100 3rd and two Highly Commended prizes of £50 in both categories, kindly sponsored by Coolio. The winners and shortlisted entries will also be taken into print.

As well as nurturing fresh literary talent, they also want the contest to help reduce the world’s carbon footprint with a four-pronged approach and one absolutely unique *eco-element:- Continue reading Literary Prize Press Release

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Children of the Crater: Out Now!

Connor Cadellin McKeeIf Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick and Article 5 by Kristen Simmons tick your box, prepare to be equally thrilled by Children of the Crater.

It is the début novel from a dynamic new author, Connor Cadellin McKee and is a deeply dark dystopian story born from a vibrant dream the author had when he was just 16.  He awoke with an urgent desire to record the vivid, intimate details from the most incredible scenes he’d lived through during his sleeping hours, all of which left him positively breathless.

Thankfully, he grabbed a notepad and pen and did just that. Continue reading Children of the Crater: Out Now!

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Press Release: 'Dear Mother', award-winning WW1 play script

Dear Mother Front CoverDear Mother: award-winning new book from Magic Oxygen Publishing

The commencement of World War 1, one hundred years ago, is respectfully marked with a heart-rending play by Mark James that has scooped 8 prestigious awards and is now available as a paperback performance script.

Dear Mother tells the poignant and emotional story of a young boy’s journey to adulthood as he finds himself inadvertently recruited and sent to the trenches of the front line. His evocative description of the loveless chaos he finds himself immersed in is told via letters to his mother.

It’s a short, four scene, one-act play with a simple set and perfect for school or local amateur dramatic players to put on, but equally impressive and satisfying as a stand alone read. The challenging monologues will push aspiring actors to achieve their best performances, as the scenes bring the audience to the edges of their seats and nudge them towards a box of tissues.

It has drawn glowing reviews from audiences, peers, acclaimed actors and award judges, including praise from members of the armed forces and the founder of the National Memorial Arboretum:

Mark takes the audience directly into the mind and experiences of a young man trying to tell his family what he’s witnessing and enduring. The lead character becomes not just any Tommy, but every man, not just an English soldier, but every combatant. At a time when we’re trying to understand, as well as recall the horrors of the Great War, one could do little better than to read or see Dear Mother.
David Childs CBE: Founder National Memorial Arboretum & Author

Mark James’ Great War vignettes succeed in creating a small window in time through which we witness the poignant story of a single life and its place in modern history; a keeper for the First World War library.
Ramon Tikaram: Actor ‘This Life’ ‘Game of Thrones’

A touching, well told story that brings to life the letters and feelings of a young boy growing up all too quickly, against the backdrop of war. This one-act play is able to produce a powerful three-dimensional tragedy, extremely well. All it requires is a simple, stark set and three passionate actors; lest we forget.
Robert B Windsor: Artistic Director Facing Tides Theatre

An ideal performance piece for schools marking the 100-year anniversary of the start of the Great War. Mark skillfully employs letters to convey his account of life on the front line. Live performances will invite audiences to appreciate it on an empathetic level as they ponder the anguish of being parted from their loved ones in a time of conflict.
Tracey West: Author and Broadcaster

Dear Mother is available to order directly from the publisher, from local independent and High Street book vendors, online and of course, from libraries everywhere.

Publication Date: March 2014
Published By: Magic Oxygen Publishing
Paperback £4.99 : ISBN 978-1-910094-08-2


Other Recent Titles From Magic Oxygen:

Action Plan For Living With An Alcoholic / self-help / Lilly Laine

365 Silly Jokes for Kids / humour / Tracey West

The Breathing Wheel / children’s fantasy fiction / Anthony Ravenwood

Diary of Divorce / companion journal / Tracey West

Review & Media:

High res images, electronic extracts from the play script and interviews with the author available from Simon West at Magic Oxygen Publishing.


Simon West: Editor, Magic Oxygen Publishing
Telephone: 07896 884 114
Email:   [email protected]

About the Author

Mark James DipLCM began performing in 2005 and has been involved in all aspects of stage performance at both local theatre and professional performances. He has won awards for both his acting and writing.

Originally writing Dear Mother in 2011, Mark toured the play around theatres and local festivals in the South and South West for 2 years, playing the lead role of senior Thomas himself. Dear Mother was met with great enthusiasm from both audiences and festival adjudicators alike, winning many awards including Best Set (Woolstore Country Theatre All England One Act Play Festival 2011) Best Actor (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012) Best Play in Class (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012) and Best Overall Play of the Festival (Dorset Drama League Festival 2012).

When he’s not writing, Mark is a busy singing teacher and performer, gaining his Diploma in Musical Theatre in July 2013 through the London College of Music. He also owns and runs his own production company, JNX Productions, specialising in high quality performances using the best of new and local talent.

See for his blog and further details.

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Press Release: Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic

Cover for Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic‘Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic’ Has a Bottle Full of Optimism

Author, Lilly Laine’s glass is brimming over.

Living with an alcoholic is no fun but leaving them is not always an option people want to take. Lilly Laine, author of this powerful new self-help book, knows that all too well.

Her husband was a chronic alcoholic for the first 10 years of their relationship. Realising nothing she did could stop him drinking, Lilly started blogging about living with an alcoholic and over time, she developed a set of techniques to get her through the tough times. These positive actions led her husband to seek help; he’s now long-term sober. Continue reading Press Release: Action Plan for Living With an Alcoholic

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Press Release: 365 Silly Jokes For Kids

365 Silly Jokes for KidsSilly Joke Book Provides Serious Lifeline to Parents of Sick & Injured Children in the South West

It’s almost unimaginable to ponder the chaos that would ensue if your child were diagnosed with a terminal illness, or injured in an accident and rushed to hospital.

Have you any money to park the car, how can you get a message to school to sort out your other child, can anyone help with a lift-share to get your child to hospital for crucial treatment?

These are just a few of the headaches that Maggie Mickshik understands, all too well. Continue reading Press Release: 365 Silly Jokes For Kids

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Press Release: The Breathing Wheel

The Breathing Wheel by Ant RavenwoodAnthony Ravenwood has a bounty of creative credits to his name.

As a musical and film director, songwriter, performance poet and lead singer of one of the country’s best tribute bands, he finally adds author to the list, with his début fantasy fiction title for children, The Breathing Wheel.

It’s a tale that spans over 300 years and has been rolling around in Ant’s head following a holiday in the late 80’s to Llandudno in North Wales where he visited a watermill. It lit a spark in the core of his vivid imagination and as he regularly lost himself listening to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis, the wild adventure fleshed itself out in his mind.

Over 20 years later, the story has found its way to Simon West at Magic Oxygen Publishing in Lyme Regis and has a publication date of Monday 25th November 2013.

Simon explained, ‘The Breathing Wheel is a captivating read with grandiose creatures, evil hags and ghostly souls in equal measure and love and hope at its core. It’s ideal for young readers and lovers of fantasy fiction alike.’

Continue reading Press Release: The Breathing Wheel

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Magic Oxygen Publishing's New Website Launches Today

logo240We are delighted to smash a bottle of Laurent-Perrier Rose on the side of the computer to launch our brand new website today, inviting existing and aspiring new authors to join the Magic Oxygen stable.

We hope you like our swish new look, most especially the typewriter on the front page which was created by our Editor Simon, also our resident super-geek.

As well as publishing authors, he has a passion for making great websites and clever widgets and he’ll be delighted to create a site to help publicise your book if you wish.

Back to our new site however, we’ll be using it to announce news of our fresh new talent and any hot-off-the-press publications from our authors, so why not bookmark us and check back soon.

Incidentally, if you would like to talk to Simon about the manuscript that resides on paper, or in your head, he’d love to hear from you, simply fill in the contact form.

Or if you have a body of work on a bookshelf already that you’d like to take to market in Kindle or another e-reader format, get in touch too, if you own the copyright, we can help!

Wordily yours,

The Team

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Press Release: Poetry of Divorce: for Women

Cover of Poetry of Divorce: for Women by Tracey West‘Poetry of Divorce: an antidote to Valentine’s Day Pain’

It’s all very well dedicating February to lovers, but what about those who are wading through separation and rapidly approaching divorce? They don’t make cheerful cards for that!

Finding comfort and solace in writing, Dorset based sustainable living author Tracey Smith (now West) wrote poetry to carve a sane route through her divorce, unsure of where her muse came from, as she’d never written verse before at all. Continue reading Press Release: Poetry of Divorce: for Women