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The winner for the much-loved Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing has been announced at a virtual awards ceremony on September 8th. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty chronicles the turning of the then 15-year-old’s world and breaks the mould of modern nature writing. As the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize, Dara’s book is an extraordinary portrayal of his intense connection to the natural world alongside his perspective as an autistic teenager juggling exams, friendships and a life of campaigning. Mike Parker’s beautiful On the Red Hill was awarded highly commended in the category.

Interviewed by broadcaster and judging chair Julia Bradbury, watch the full interview with Dara about his winning book here:

This year’s prize has been extended to include a second category for books about global conservation and climate change, and Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald is its inaugural winner. Praised as ‘visionary’ by conservationists and landowners alike, Rebirding sets out a compelling manifesto for restoring Britain’s wildlife, rewilding its species and restoring rural jobs – to the benefit of all. Irreplaceable by Julian Hoffman was awarded highly commended in the category.

Interviewed by BBC Countryfile presenter and judging chair Charlotte Smith, watch the full interview with Benedict about his winning book here:

Named after nature writer Alfred Wainwright, this year’s prize feels more timely than ever as our need to reconnect with nature has never been stronger. Against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and with our natural landscapes under increasing threat from the climate crisis, nature and conservation writing has flourished. Now in its seventh year, the prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world, with a new prize added to reflect the growing cry for action to meet climate change targets and halt the destruction of wildlife and natural habitats.

The Wainwright Prize for UK nature writing:
The book should be narrative driven with a subject that must be related to nature, the outdoors or travel writing (not guidebooks) covering Great Britain and Northern Ireland as a central theme.

The Wainwright Prize for writing on global conservation:
The books in this category will reflect efforts in or, studies relating to conservation or climate change as it affects nature and the outdoors. They should be narrative driven and could be global in scope.

The Wainwright Prize are honoured to have Jon Tremaine as this year’s featured artist.

2020 Key Dates:
Submissions open – 20th March
Submissions close – extended until 24th April
Longlist Announcement – 5th June – World Environment Day
Shortlist Announcement – 30th July
Digital ceremony – 8th September

The Wainwright Prize is a literary award that was created in memory of Alfred Wainwright, whose pictorial guides to the Lakeland Fells are still available in lovingly reproduced form today. Thanks to all of the prize partners but especially to Jane King & Annie Sellar of the Wainwright Estate and Frances Lincoln Publishers who financially support the prize.

 

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