Wilbur's News
2019 Adventure Writing Prize shortlist announced

The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation is delighted to announce the shortlist for the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, for Best Published Novel. You can find out more about the shortlisted titles here: https://www.wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org/index.php/news/shortlist-revealed-2019-best-published-novel

The Adventure Writing Prize seeks to support and celebrate adventure in all its forms. We are delighted to see authors on the shortlist representing the US, the UK and Australia and have two debuts recognised alongside well-established authors.

Niso Smith, Founder of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation which administers the annual Prize, says:

“This is a shortlist of heroes. The protagonists in these six novels inspired us with their courage, determination to pursue the truth, and stamina for survival in harsh surroundings. Each of these stories gave us what an adventure does in real life – a chance to learn about ourselves and the world, while getting the adrenaline pumping. All we can say is go and read these unique and wonderful books, we couldn’t put them down.”

Now in its fourth year, the Prize is partnering with national charity, The Reading Agency, to make the Best Published Novel award as much about readers as it about the writers.

As part of this partnership, each author on the shortlist and the Prize’s judging panel has been invited to work with the Foundation to support a new generation of young people to become readers. Working in further education colleges across the UK, as part of The Reading Agency’s Reading Ahead programme, the partnership will provide a stepping stone for many young people to continue their reading journeys through adventure.

Fraser Hutchinson, Head of Publisher Partnerships at The Reading Agency, says: “We’re delighted to be partnering with the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. By their very nature, an adventure story should be a book you cannot put down; they are the perfect way to introduce non-readers into the world of books, which is very much at the heart of everything we do at The Reading Agency.”

The winner of the £15,000 Best Published Novel award will be selected by our expert panel of judges and awarded at a ceremony on 12th September 2019, at London’s Stationers’ Hall.

The 2019 judging panel for the shortlist comprises Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent at Sky News; Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwean Olympian and Minister for Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation in the Zimbabwe cabinet; Abir Mukherjee, author and winner of the 2018 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize; Kevin Conroy Scott, Literary Agent of Wilbur Smith at Tibor Jones & Associates; Sue Wilkinson, CEO of The Reading Agency; and Levison Wood, professional writer, explorer and photographer.


ABOUT THE FOUNDATION: Established in September 2015, The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to empowering writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing as a genre. Through our work, we reach out to writers and readers across the world, ensuring everyone can have their own adventures through the words on a page.  Through the Prize, the Foundation also awards recognition to a writer for the Best Unpublished Manuscript, and to the Author of Tomorrow – a writer aged 21 years and under who has submitted a short piece of adventure writing.

ABOUT THE READING AGENCY: The Reading Agency is a national charity that tackles life's big challenges through the proven power of reading. We work closely with partners to develop and deliver programmes for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Reading Agency is funded by Arts Council England. www.readingagency.org.uk