Colin Thubron was honoured with the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing at this year’s Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards (ESTWAs) ceremony.
The award recognises the contribution of one individual author to the travel-writing genre over time with the winner selected by a panel of booksellers from bookshops across the country. The acclaimed British novelist and travel writer, whose books have been translated into more than 20 languages, was celebrated at last night’s awards ceremony at Unit London in Mayfair. Previous winners of this category include Bill Bryson, Michael Palin and Jan Morris.
Stanfords chairman and c.e.o. Vivien Godfrey said: “Colin has always written about rarely visited parts of our planet. At Stanfords we pride ourselves on bringing the world to our customers and his writings and vivid descriptions of remote and inaccessible locations do just that. He writes in a magical way allowing the reader to feel truly immersed in the sights, smells and sounds of each place he’s visited – congratulations Colin.”
This year’s diverse shortlist comprised a total of 42 books, divided into eight awards categories with winners being both debut authors and multi-award-winning writers. The judging panel included explorer Benedict Allen, author Horatio Clare, Vanity Fair travel editor Michelle Jana Chan and Wanderlust editor-at-large Phoebe Smith.
The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places by William Atkins (Faber & Faber) scooped the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, winning £2,500. The Lonely Planet Adventure Travel Book of the Year went to The Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey in Search of the Chinook by Adam Weymouth (Particular, Penguin Press) and Travel Memoir Book of the Year was awarded to Guy Stagg's The Crossway (Picador, Pan Macmillan).
Alastair Humpreys’ Great Adventures by Alastair Humphreys and illustrated by Kevin Ward (Big Picture Press, Bonnier) won the Ordnance Survey Children’s Travel Book of the Year as House of Stone by Novuyo Rosa Tshuma (Atlantic Books) took the top prize for Fiction, with a Sense of Place.
Photography and Illustrated Travel Book of the Year went to The Writer’s Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands by Huw Lewis-Jones (Thames and Hudson) with Caroline Eden's Black Sea: Dispatches and Recipes – Through Darkness and Light (Quadrille, Hardie Grant) taking the Travel Food & Drink Book of the Year and Celia Dillow won Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year for Reflections of Dubai.
Guests at last night's event enjoyed exploration themed cocktails served by Mr Fogg’s, in partnership with Metaxa, and enjoyed a ‘World Street Food’ inspired dinner. Each winner was presented with a hand-made globe featuring a design produced exclusively for the ESTWAs.