Thanks to Mercy, the wonderful booktuber behind Mercy’s Bookish Musings, I recently came across the Wainwright Prize. This book prize recognises and rewards the best writing focused on the general outdoors, nature and UK-based travel writing (although guidebooks are not eligible to win). Sponsored by Wainwright Golden Beer and in association with the National Trust, the winner of the prize is awarded £5,000 and a big old pat on the back.
After hearing about the prize I looked up the shortlisted books, they sounded gritty, humorous and full of perseverance – following seasons and emotions through the year. Thanks to Mercy, I was lucky enough to get all six of them, which included the winning novel, The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate). The other shortlisted books comprised of:
- Common Ground, Rob Cowen (Windmill)
- Landmarks, Robert Macfarlane (Penguin)
- The Fish Ladder, Katharine Norbury (Bloomsbury)
- The Moth Snowstorm, Michael McCarthy (John Murray)
- The Shepherd’s Life, James Rebanks (Penguin)
I’ll be honest, I was absolutely chuffed to find a literary prize that has such a strong focus on the British outdoors, as I absolutely love being in the countryside and am a keen walker – I love exploring national trails, especially if a stop at a tea rooms or stately home is involved. So far this year, I’ve already read a couple of nature-themed books, including H is for Hawk and Walking the Nile. Additionally, I have Walking through Spring, by Graham Hoyland, on my to read pile – when I found out I’d won the competition I was super-excited to add more to my pile.
A couple of friends have already recommend The Outrun, so I’m looking forward to reading that one, but taking a look at the other books, The Fish Ladder and The Moth Snowstorm intrigue me most. Once I’ve got cracking (and made a dent in the pile) I’ll do some reviews. Have you read any of them? If so, I’d love to hear what you thought in the comments.