Jonathan Cape has scored two titles on the shortlist for the £5,000 Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize while Hamish Hamilton author Robert Macfarlane has also been nominated for the fourth time.
The award, which celebrates the best books about nature, the outdoors and UK travel is announced was announced on today (Tuesday 2nd July).
Macfarlane’s Underland (Hamish Hamilton) appears on the on the seven-strong shortlist, having been nominated three times previously, along with two titles from Penguin Random House stablemate Jonathan Cape: Time Song by Julia Blackburn and Our Place by Mark Cocker. Wilding (Picador) by Isabella Tree is also in the running aong with Out Of The Woods (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Luke Turner. Orion is featured under the Aster imprint with Thinking On My Feet by Kate Humble while the single indie on the list comes from Sandstone Press with Juliet Blaxland's The Easternmost House.
Celebrating its sixth 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.
“With our natural landscapes under increasing threat from the climate crisis, this is a crucial time to reconnect with nature,” the prize organisers said. “From personal journeys in wild places to rallying cries for change, the 2019 shortlist is essential reading in trying times.”
The judging panel for the 2019 prize will be chaired, for the third year running, by TV presenter Julia Bradbury. Her fellow judges include Waterstones non-fiction buyer Clement Knox; National Trust publisher Katie Bond; publisher at Unbound and joint-host of the popular podcast Blacklisted, John Mitchinson; David Lindo otherwise known as The Urban Birder; and Anna Arnell, creative partner for agency And Rising.
Bradbury said: “Within challenging times and facing a climate crisis, British nature writing continues to blossom. The books that my fellow judges and I have shortlisted for the Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize demonstrate the role that nature writing can play in shining a spotlight on wider social, environmental and personal issues.”
The prize is supported by White Lion Publishing, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, Wainwright Golden Beer, the Wainwright estate and in partnership with the National Trust the winner will receive a cheque for £5,000.
The winner will be announced on 15th August at an event in the National Trust Arena at BBC Countryfile Live at Castle Howard, Yorkshire.
Last year’s Wainwright Golden Beer Book Prize was won by Adam Nicolson for The Seabird’s Cry (William Collins).