Raynor Winn, Anita Sethi and James Rebanks are among the authors shortlisted for this year's Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing, joined by Merlin Sheldrake, David Attenborough and Elizabeth Kolbert who are nominated for the newer Global Conservation Writing Prize.
Now in its eighth year, the main prize is is awarded annually to the author of the book which most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world. Introduced last year, the conservation award focuses on highlighting global sustainability and climate change. The two winners will both receive £5,000.
Sethi has been nominated for her memoir I Belong Here (Bloomsbury) while Winn and Rebanks make the cut with The Wild Silence (Penguin Michael Joseph) and English Pastoral: An Inheritance (Penguin Press) respectively.
Charlie Gilmour's Featherhood (Orion), Thin Places by Kerri ni Dochartaigh (Canongate) and Seed to Dust by Marc Hamer (Vintage) are also featured, alongside The Screaming Sky by Charles Foster (Little Toller).
Sheldrake's Entangled Life (Vintage), A Life on Our Planet by Attenborough (Ebury), and Under a White Sky by Kolbert (Vintage) are joined by Net Zero: How We Stop Causing Climate Change by Dieter Helm (HarperCollins), Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn (HarperCollins) and Fathoms by Rebecca Giggs (Scribe).
Prize judge, National Trust communications and campaigns director Mark Funnell, said: “I’m thrilled to be involved with judging this year, it’s a very strong shortlist indeed. And this at a time when people have been turning to nature, more than at any time in living memory. The Wainwright Prize is going from strength to strength, and the National Trust is proud to support it.”
The winners' ceremony will take place on 7th September at the London Wetland Centre in Barnes. The prize is sponsored for the first time this year by Lake District based paper-craft company James Cropper, and this year’s campaign artwork will be produced in partnership with the author and illustrator Dorien Brouwers.
Prize director, Alastair Giles said: "We’ve strived to meet the conservation aspirations of the authors in consideration for the Wainwright Prize this year. We’re absolutely delighted to partner with such a forward-thinking company as James Cropper and we’ve ensured that, as much as possible, of the official point of sale material for the prize will be printed on their sustainable paper.
"The London Wetland Centre is a leading conservation charity, and by holding our award ceremony there, we will be directly contributing to the global conservation of wildlife and wetlands. I can’t wait to meet the superb collection of shortlisted authors at the ceremony on 7th September. It’s been a long time since nature and conservation writers have been able to gather together in person."
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