Head of Zeus has two books shortlisted for the £10,000 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
The press, crowned independent publisher of the year at the British Book Awards last week, has Graham Hurley’s Finisterre and David Gilman’s The Last Horseman shortlisted for the prize, which recognises the best adventure novels published in the last calendar year.
Fellow independent press Black and White publishing also has a title in the running for the award – Sara Sheridan’s On Starlit Seas. The three remaining finalists are published by large houses – Frank Gardner’s Crisis (Bantam Press), Stef Penney’s Under a Pole Star (Quercus) and James Swallow’s Nomad (Zaffre Publishing).
The 2017 judging panel comprises Steve Winter, award-winning National Geographic Photographer; Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent at Sky News; Kevin Conroy Scott, Literary Agent of Wilbur Smith at Tibor Jones & Associates; and Corban Addison, best-selling author and winner of the 2016 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.
Niso Smith, founder of The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, said: "The shortlist encapsulates the spirit of adventure writing. Each novel allows us a glimpse into different worlds and times, from modern-day to historical settings, and each with clear threats to overcome - whether that's a fearsome human enemy, societal conventions, or the formidable power of nature."
This is the second year of the prize, which is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English.
The £10,000 first prize for a published novel will be awarded at a ceremony in September 2017, at London's Royal Geographical Society.