The James Cropper Wainwright Prize – named after much-loved nature writer Alfred Wainwright and created to celebrate connection with nature and the outdoors – today announced their 10th anniversary plans and revealed the 2023 longlist.
In celebration of the 10th Anniversary, the Prize will return to Kendal in the Lake District where Alfred Wainwright worked and lived, to host an exclusive festival-style celebration of the prize and its legacy.
Mark Cropper, James Cropper Chairman and one of the judges of this year’s Prize comments: "We're over the moon to be bringing the James Cropper Wainwright Prize home to Kendal in a 10-year anniversary celebration befitting this fantastic accolade. Having produced bespoke papers for Alfred Wainwright’s wonderful Pictorial Guides; hosting the ceremony close to our mill in the town where Alfred Wainwright lived and worked is a very special moment.”
The James Cropper Wainwright Prize 10th Anniversary Celebration will be held in partnership with us at Kendal Mountain on 14th September and will feature specially curated author events and the announcement of the winners of the 2023 prize.
In the 10 years since the prize’s inception, there has been a significant increase in sales of nature books and an upsurge in interest in the climate, the healing power of nature, and the natural world around us. We are in a golden age of nature writing.
For the first time in the prize’s history – women dominate all three longlists, with 26 of the 36 titles having been written by female authors. Longlists were selected from a record number of submissions showcasing the diversity and depth of nature writing, including: Raynor Winn, Patrick Barkham, Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Stephen Moss, Mya-Rose Craig, Annie Proulx, Guy Shrubsole, Katya Balen, M. G. Leonard, Dara McAnulty, Kiran Millwood Hargrave and Katherine Rundell.
Olga Prinku is announced as official James Cropper Wainwright Prize artist for 2023.
A total of 36 books have been longlisted for the 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize with 12 in each category – the Prize for Nature Writing, the Prize for Writing on Conservation, and the Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation. The longlists were selected from a record number of submissions, marking a golden age of nature writing.
To honour the 10th anniversary, this year’s prize fund will be increased to £10,000 which will be shared amongst the winning authors.
The 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing Longlist (alphabetical order by author surname):
The Swimmer: The Wild Life of Roger Deakin, Patrick Barkham (Hamish Hamilton)
The Flow: Rivers, Water and Wildness, Amy-Jane Beer (Bloomsbury)
Where the Wildflowers Grow, Leif Bersweden (Hodder)
Twelve Words for Moss, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett (Allen Lane)
Cacophony of Bone, Kerri ní Dochartaigh (Canongate)
Sea Bean, Sally Huband (Hutchinson)
Ten Birds that Changed the World, Stephen Moss (Faber)
A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast, Dorthe Nors, translated by Caroline Waight (Pushkin)
The Golden Mole: And Other Living Treasure, Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Talya Baldwin (Faber)
Belonging: Natural histories of place, identity and home, Amanda Thomson (Canongate)
Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, Alice Vincent (Canongate)
Landlines, Raynor Winn (Penguin)
The 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Writing on Conservation Longlist (alphabetical order by author surname):
Sarn Helen: A Journey Through Wales, Past, Present and Future, Tom Bullough, illustrated by Jackie Morris (Granta)
Beastly: A New History of Animals and Us, Keggie Carew (Canongate)
Rewilding the Sea: How to Save Our Oceans, Charles Clover (Ebury)
Birdgirl, Mya-Rose Craig (Jonathan Cape)
The Orchid Outlaw, Ben Jacob (John Murray)
Elixir: In the Valley at the End of Time, Kapka Kassabova (Jonathan Cape)
Rooted: How Regenerative Farming Can Change the World, Sarah Langford (Viking)
Black Ops and Beaver Bombing: Adventures with Britain's Wild Mammals, Fiona Mathews and Tim Kendall (Oneworld)
Forget Me Not, Sophie Pavelle (Bloomsbury)
Fen, Bog, and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and its Role in the Climate Crisis, Annie Proulx (Fourth Estate)
The Lost Rainforests of Britain, Guy Shrubsole (HarperCollins)
Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval, Gaia Vince (Allen Lane)
The 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation Longlist (alphabetical order by author surname):
The Earth Book, Hannah Alice (Nosy Crow)
The Light in Everything, Katya Balen, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Bloomsbury)
Billy Conker's Nature-Spotting Adventure, Conor Busuttil (O’Brien)
Protecting the Planet: The Season of Giraffes, Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton (Walker)
Blobfish, Olaf Falafel (Walker)
A Friend to Nature, Laura Knowles, illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon (Welbeck)
Spark, M. G. Leonard (Walker)
A Wild Child's Book of Birds, Dara McAnulty (Macmillan)
Leila and the Blue Fox, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illustrated by Tom de Freston (Hachette Childrens Group)
The Zebra's Great Escape, Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Sara Ogilvie (Bloomsbury)
Archie's Apple, Hannah Shuckburgh, illustrated by Octavia Mackenzie (Little Toller)
Grandpa and the Kingfisher, Anna Wilson, illustrated by Sarah Massini (Nosy Crow)
The Nature Writing Prize judging panel is chaired by TV presenter Ray Mears; CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, Craig Bennett, is the Chair of Judges for Writing on Conservation; and Communications & Campaigns Director of National Trust, Mark Furnell, chairs the Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation.
The prize’s shortlists will be announced on 10th August, and the winners will be announced live on 14th September at the James Cropper Wainwright Prize 10th Anniversary Celebration, held in partnership with us at Kendal Mountain.
Tickets are available from today.
The prize was founded and is still supported by both the Alfred Wainwright Estate and Frances Lincoln, the publisher of the Wainwright Guides.