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What Our Contest Has Done in Kenya, Via You!

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is so much more than a writing contest and yes, I realise I’m in danger of making this sound like a Marks and Spencer advert!

But it is!

Over the past 3 years, MOLP has helped reforest 71 acres of deforested land in the
Coastal Province of Kenya and it has just put a roof on the second, much needed
classroom at Kundeni Primary School too.

Take a moment to smile as you look at our update from Bore.

Kundeni Children

The children of Kundeni Primary School & the local community work hard to plant, care for, & protect the trees.

Bore Nursery

The nursery has been a hive of activity; planting new seeds, potting them up & preparing them for the Word Forest.

Word Forest Kundeni

At 71 acres it's growing tall & strong. It'll remove over 2k tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere & improve the air we breathe.

Our First Classroom

It may be sparsely furnished but it's a vast improvement from sitting & learning outside in the scorching Kenyan sun.

Education Is The Key

Children attend school more regularly & the register has expanded too; the children you helped have hope for their future.

What Next?

The whole community make decisions about how we can best support them; this meeting approved classroom number two.

Classroom Two Begins

Soon the 300 children of Kundeni will have another safe, protected space to study; everyone's excited!

Walls Up, Render On

The labour required to build the classroom was shared throughout Bore. Soon everyone will profit from it.

The Forest Centre

On the edge of the Word Forest, this will be a community learning hub & visitor centre too. A legacy education project.

Enter MOLP 3

This year's contest closes at midnight on the 31st December. Get your short story or poem in soon & we'll plant a tree for you!


Buy our fabulous anthologies, enjoy the brilliant winning entries & we'll plant another tree for every one sold!


Aside from the fact that MOLP has uncovered some remarkable literary talent, the impact of the actions above have been immeasurably positive for the children and community. Continue reading What Our Contest Has Done in Kenya, Via You!

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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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#MOLP3 is Now Open for Entries!

Watch our short animation below and get into the groove then click here to enter!

Now in its third year, #MOLP3 has an incredible prize fund of £3,000, which will be awarded in each category as follows:

  • First Prize – £1,000
  • Second Prize – £300
  • Third Prize – £100
  • Two Highly Commended – £50

We also plant a tree for every single entry we receive in Bore, Kenya and we’ll email you the GPS coordinates of it once the contest has closed and we’ve received confirmation of them from our Word Forest Coordinator, Ru Hartwell.

Additionally, your entry will also help fund the construction of another much needed new classroom at Kundeni Primary School in the same community – click here to see the one our previous contests built.

It is worthy of note that none of this would be possible without the kind support and sponsorship we’ve had from the guys at Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort.

 The Rules in Brief

  • Open for entries 1st September 2016, through to midnight on 31st December 2016
  • Short Stories up to 4,000 words, excluding title
  • Poetry up to 50 lines, excluding title and lines between stanzas
  • The theme for short stories and poetry is open
  • Online entries preferred but written entries are also accepted (Click here for the address and postal details)
  • Open to writers all over the world
  • Entrants must be 16 or over at the time of submission
  • Entries must be written in English and must be your own previously unpublished work
  • Entries must show no name, address or identifying marks other than the title
  • You may submit as many entries as you wish
  • £5 per entry
  • Closing date midnight 31st December 2016

Click here to read the rules, Ts and Cs in full.

Your submission will also act as your acceptance of the rules.

Good luck!

The Team

PS: Find out what piqued the interest of our judges in previous years by downloading the eBook anthologies from MOLP, MOLP2, MOLP3 or MOLP4 for just £3.00 each! Not only will you be able to enjoy the top ten stories stories and poems from each year, but we’ll plant a tree for you in our Word Forest as well!

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Buy the MOLP Anthology Double eBundle

Poster for the 3rd Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

m902aThe Brilliant Winners & Shortlisters from MOLP1 & 2

These two magnificent eBooks contain the winning and shortlisted poems and short stories from the last two Magic Oxygen Literary Prize contests.

The MOLP1 and MOLP2 anthologies are on special offer for a limited period at just £5.00 for the pair!

If you’re preparing to enter MOLP3 they’ll make great research material, as well as being brilliant reads in their own right.

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is a prestigious international writing competition that seeks literary excellence in short stories and poetry.

It is the only writing contest in the world to plant a tree for every single entry received. Our Word Forest is located in Bore, Kenya and is currently eleven times the size of Wembley Stadium. Additionally, MOLP1 and 2 also funded the construction of an urgently needed classroom at Kundeni Primary School in the same community – click here for recent photos.

Continue reading Buy the MOLP Anthology Double eBundle

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The 3rd Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is Coming!

Poster for the 3rd Magic Oxygen Literary Prize

Click here to have a peek at the Ts and Cs before you start writing your piece.

Please help us spread the message by sharing our little animation on your social media and with any friends you think might like to enter!

Thank you.

The Team

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A Publishing House, a Forest & a Classroom

Kundeni Prmary School children by the new classroom

In the spring of 2014, as well as publishing a handful of new titles* we also launched a pioneering global writing competition called the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize.

It had two categories – short stories and poetry – a prestigious £3,000 prize fund and three environmental promises built into its foundations:

  • to plant a tree for every single entry received, in Bore, Kenya,
  • to fund the build of an urgently needed new classroom at Kundeni Primary School in the same community,
  • to send every entrant an electronic certificate with the clickable GPS co-ordinates of their tree.


Youngsters from Kundeni Primary School getting ready to plant trees in the Word Forest


The Word Forest is packed with moringa, casuarina, neem, cashew and other trees


The community of Bore got stuck into the footings of the new classroom


The children await their new classroom with excitement and anticipation


Headmaster James Kithi and the Kundeni students give the progress a thumb's up


Up go the walls and everyone lends a hand sealing the building


Laying the floor must have been a back breaking task


Once the floor had been laid, it was time for everyone to celebrate


Thankfully, there was enough paint to give the old classroom a spruce up too


In the late spring of 2016, the classroom was ready and open for study - bring on classroom 3!


Buy them and enjoy the winning entries; we'll plant a tree and get more building materials for every one sold

Ru Hartwell, an international forestry expert, founder of TreeFlights and a trusted friend, chose Bore to site the Word Forest for several reasons. He knew we were keen to plant a legacy forest that would make a positive difference to the earth. Bore is located fairly near the equator and therefore would be incredibly efficient at locking down the CO2 from the atmosphere as the trees grow so quickly there. He also had first-hand knowledge of the area and knew how devastated it had become as a result of mass deforestation. A long-term tree planting project in Bore would not only benefit the planet, but would also have an incredibly positive effect on the community, as the trees would also provide them with food, medicines, shelter and protection from the elements and reintroduce biodiversity. In time, it could generate an income for them too. To date, the Word Forest is 11 times the size of Wembley Stadium.

Alex Katana, Ru’s right hand-man and the resident project manager in Bore, mobilised the whole community to get involved with the tree planting, including many of the children who attend Kundeni Primary School. There are around 300 children on their register, many of whom sleep on the premises because it’s simply too far to walk to. Despite the fact that it’s a primary school, several youngsters attend who are in their late teens and early 20s. Their families needed their labour to work the land so they could bring in desperately needed income, consequently, those children missed out on basic schooling. However, many parents reconsidered their position when the Kenyan authorities said all children should be encouraged to get a proper education and supported them to do so.

Educating 300 children at Kundeni Primary School had been a challenge however, as up until recently, they only had one decent classroom which housed around 30 youngsters at a time; it had been provided by another fundraising project headed by Ru. There were a handful of other ramshackle buildings dotted around the grounds, most of which were condemned and a danger to life to be in.

To say thank you for planting the trees, our literary prize also paid for the building materials and labour to construct a new classroom. In late spring 2016, a splendid new classroom was handed over to the Headmaster James Kithi and the children. They are now able to provide twice the amount of students with a safe and comfortable space to learn that keeps them cool in the summer and dry in the winter.

James wrote to us and said that it has already made an enormous difference to the whole community and we are so proud to know the Word Forest and the classroom have been welcomed and embraced. We aren’t stopping there however. As you’ll see from the images in the slider, there is a great need for more chairs, desks and basic resources.

The Mini-MOLPs and the forthcoming MOLP3 (due to open for entries in autumn 2016) are only going to continue the good work that has been done so far. Further resources to help the school are vital and a third classroom is on the cards.

With Ru continuing to be our guiding light, we will honour our commitment to helping the amazing community of Bore in Kenya with great pleasure, and perhaps one day, we will walk through the Word Forest too.

The Team

* Spring 2016 Titles
Blind Cupid: Max Brandt
Children of the Crater: Connor Cadellin McKee
Continental With Juice: James Dunford Wood
Dear Mother: Mark James
Dreaming the Moon: Izzy Robertson
Off Her Facebook: Robert Windsor and Jo Stroud
The Dreamer: Sue Hampton
The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Anthology 2016
The Pick Up Artist: Chris Hill

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Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016: the judges

The MOLP 2016 judgesWe are absolutely delighted to reveal the judgemental line up for MOLP 2016!

If you were involved in the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize last year, you’ll probably recognise a few familiar faces but we have also been very fortunate to welcome a handful of new literary lovers to our esteemed team too.

The process for judging the entries this year was incredibly challenging for one of the hard-working MOLP founders, our resident super-geek, Simon West.

Continue reading Magic Oxygen Literary Prize 2016: the judges

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Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Awards & Festival of Words

MOLP2 Get Your Tickets PosterMy word, what a journey we’ve been on since the opening of MOLP1 through to the closing of MOLP2!

Last year, the first Magic Oxygen Literary Prize received almost 800 entries from 31 countries; this year we have exceeded that on both fronts!

If you put an entry into the second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, I am sure you are champing at the bit to know how you did.

Suffice to say, you’ll soon receive an electronic certificate with the GPS reference of where your trees are planted. It’s our thank you for entering the only writing contest where everyone wins.

We hope you feel as chuffed when you receive the coordinates, as we feel sending them out!

The Word Forest is indeed a legacy reforestation project. Ru Hartwell, the project coordinator, said in an email to us earlier:

This is a serious bit of tropical forest, a serious bit of classroom building, a serious bit of creative writing and a serious bit of carbon absorption as well. How can one project tick so many boxes and tick ’em so well?

The talented shortlisters from MOLP2 will be announced very soon.

Continue reading Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Awards & Festival of Words

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Would you Like a Tree in the Word Forest?

gofundmenowAs you have probably gathered, the second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize has just drawn to a close.

Phew… the office computers are still whizzing at 1am.

We hope you will be fired up to enter MOLP3 in the not too distant future but while you’re waiting, if you would like to buy a tree in the Word Forest, guess what, YOU CAN!

Last year we set up a Go Fund Me campaign for people who didn’t want to enter the contest but who wanted to help us expand the Word Forest.

Continue reading Would you Like a Tree in the Word Forest?

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Today is the Last Day to Get Your Entries into MOLP!

Back of a zebraPhew…  our tech team are industriously processing last minute entries to the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize but it closes at midnight GMT tonight!

It has been coined the greenest writing contest in the world and we’re looking for short stories of up to 4,000 words or poems of up to 50 lines, on any topic.

Your entry will stand you in with a chance of winning a slice of the £3,000 prize fund. Additionally, we’ll plant a tree for every single entry and the contest is also funding the build of an urgently needed schoolroom at Kundeni Primary School in Bore, Kenya.

Continue reading Today is the Last Day to Get Your Entries into MOLP!