The Wainwright Prize was named after Alfred Wainwright, the author of the famous fell walking series, the Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells. Created to celebrate nature-writing and encourage exploration of the outdoors, it was initially conceived in 2014 by Frances Lincoln, publishers of the Guides. It has been administered ever since by the independent Literary Marketing Agency; AGILE.
The prize is co-owned by AGILE, The Wainwright Estate and the Quarto Group, who own imprint; Frances Lincoln
Over previous years it has been largely funded by sponsors: Marston Brewery, who produce the ‘Wainwright Golden Beer’ brand. In 2020, it is underwritten from a combination of; an anonymous benefactor and also, as in previous years; the Alfred Wainwright Estate and the Quarto Group. The publicity and promotional campaign for the prize is self-financed by promotional levies from publishers with shortlisted titles.
The prize is project managed by AGILE in association with The National Trust and with promotional support from; BBC Countryfile Live, The Outdoor Guide, The Wainwright Society and many others.