Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize for nature writing – longlist and judges announcement

June 2, 2017
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The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize which celebrates the best books about nature, the outdoors and UK travel announces the judges and longlist for the 2017 prize. The longlist will be announced today, Friday 2nd June at the Hay Festival and celebrated at the National Trust’s party at Booth’s Bookshop this afternoon.

Now in its fourth year, The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize, is awarded annually to the book which most successfully reflects the ethos of renowned nature writer Alfred Wainwright’s work, to inspire readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world.

The judging panel for the 2017 prize will be chaired by TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Joining Julia on the judging panel are: fellow TV presenter Matt Baker; editor of the National Trust Magazine, Sally Palmer; chair of both Gardener’s Question Time and the Wainwright Society, Eric Robson; Mail on Sunday journalist, Sarah Oliver; and ex-Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Peter Waine.

The Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize celebrates the resurgent genre of nature writing and the 2017 longlist is proof that British nature and travel writing is in good health.

Chair of judges, Julia Bradbury comments; “I’m delighted to be chairing the judging panel for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize this year, it really is a thought-provoking prize. The books that my fellow judges and I have longlisted capture many different aspects of the natural world whilst displaying the strength and variety in nature writing in the UK today. I’m excited that through this prize, we are helping to celebrate these books and the natural landscapes and creatures that have inspired them.”

The 2017 Wainwright Golden Beer Prize Longlist:

 Love of Country by Madeleine Bunting (Granta)

The Otter’s Tale by Simon Cooper (HarperCollins)

The Nature of Autumn by Jim Crumley (Saraband)

Foxes Unearthed: A Story of Love and Loathing in Modern Britain by Lucy Jones (Elliott & Thompson)

The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel (Transworld)

Where Poppies Blow by John Lewis-Stempel (Orion)

A Sky Full of Birds by Matt Merritt (Ebury)

Wild Kingdom by Stephen Moss (Vintage)

Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham (Ebury)

Love, Madness, Fishing by Dexter Petley (Little Toller Books)

The January Man by Christopher Somerville (Transworld)

The Wild Other by Clover Stroud (Hodder & Stoughton)

The 12 strong longlist features two books by 2015 Wainwright Prize winner John Lewis-Stempel. It includes books published by a number of independent publishers and five titles from Penguin Random House. The longlisted books cover studies of otters and of foxes, a celebration of birdwatching, a memoir set against a lifetime of fishing, an account of the relationship that soldiers in WWI had with nature and a study in to the rewilding of Britain’s urban and rural areas.

The prize shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 27 June. The winner will be announced on 3 August at an event in the National Trust Arena at the BBC Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace.

Supported by Wainwright Golden Beer and the Wainwright estate and in partnership with the National Trust, the winner will receive a cheque for £5000.

Last year’s Wainwright Golden Beer Prize was won by Amy Liptrot for The Outrun, her account of reconnecting with her native Orkney.


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