Today, 24th June sees the announcement of the longlist for The Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing, in association with the National Trust. Named after much-loved nature writer Alfred Wainwright, for the second year, the prize includes a second category for books on global conservation and climate change. In the midst of a global pandemic, coupled with the ongoing climate crisis, the prize feels timelier than ever before, as we are all recognising the restorative role that nature plays, and the urgency with which we need to protect it. This year’s longlisted books emphasise how nature writing continues to blossom, both in UK and around the world.
Now in its eighth year and recently described in the media as ‘the UK’s newest major literary prize’, The Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing is awarded annually to the book which most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world. The judging panel will be chaired by TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Whilst, BBC Countryfile presenter; Charlotte Smith is the Chair of Judges for the Global Conservation Prize.
Vesper Flights, Helen Macdonald, Vintage
The Stubborn Light of Things: A Nature Diary, Melissa Harrison, Faber
Seed to Dust, Marc Hamer, Vintage
The Screaming Sky, Charles Foster, Little Toller Books
English Pastoral: An Inheritance, James Rebanks, Penguin Press
Into The Tangled Bank, Lev Parikian, Elliott & Thompson
Thin Places, Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Canongate Books
Birdsong in a Time of Silence, Steven Lovatt, Penguin Press
I Belong Here, Anita Sethi, Bloomsbury Plc
Featherhood, Charlie Gilmour, Orion Publishing Group
The Circling Sky, Neil Ansell, Headline
The Wild Silence, Raynor Winn, Michael Joseph
Skylarks with Rosie, Stephen Moss, Saraband
Entangled Life, Merlin Sheldrake, Vintage
A Life on Our Planet, David Attenborough, Penguin Random House
Islands of Abandonment, Cal Flyn, HarperCollins
What If We stopped Pretending, Jonathan Franzen, HarperCollins
Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change, Dieter Helm, HarperCollins
Under a White Sky, Elizabeth Kolbert, Vintage
A World on the Wing, Scott Weidensaul, Pan Macmillan
Riders on the Storm, Alastair McIntosh, Birlinn Ltd
Fathoms, Rebecca Giggs, Scribe
The Reindeer Chronicles, Judith D. Schwartz, Chelsea Green Publishing
Ice Rivers, Jemma Wadham, Penguin Press
The New Climate War, Michael E. Mann, Scribe
The prize shortlist will be announced on August 4th and the winners’ announcement will be made live on September 7th at a venue tbc.
This year’s marketing campaign will be produced in partnership with the talented author and illustrator, Dorien Brouwers. Her fresh, fluid illustration is poised to inject life into the prize aesthetic through an evocative combination of colour, texture and a rich palette of the world’s flora and fauna.
Dorien Brouwers comments:
“My creative work, both as an illustrator and picture book author, is highly influenced by our natural environment. Mother Nature surely is the best designer and should be an inspiration to us all. It is wonderful to be using my creativity for a prize that encourages more people to love and protect our home.”
The prize is supported by Frances Lincoln, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, the Wainwright Estate and in partnership with the National Trust. The £5000 prize fund will be shared and presented to the authors of the two winning books. Last year’s winners were; The Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty & Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald.