The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation
Home of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Niso and I established the Foundation in 2015 to support writers, promote literacy and advance adventure writing as a genre. Through the Foundation we work across the globe, with readers and writers of all ages. We imagine a world where everyone can have their own adventures, made possible by the words on a page.
Wilbur Smith
©Adam Duke Photography


The winner of the 2023 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is No Country for Girls by Emma Styles. Entered by her publisher, shortlisted by a team of librarians and library staff, and selected as victorious by a panel of judges who are experts in either the literary or adventure fields, No Country for Girls was crowned this year’s winning novel.

Niso Smith, Founder, formally announced Styles as the winner at the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize Awards Ceremony, hosted at London’s Royal Geographical Society on 18th October 2023. She said:

It was a delight to have such diverse and inventive narratives to share with readers, a testament to this thriving genre and its ability to take readers on exhilarating journeys, through landscapes and experiences.

As for No Country for Girls? It’s gritty. Arresting. A story of young, female empowerment and resilience. A resounding triumph. Congratulations, Emma!”

The other titles on the shortlist were: 

Going Zero by Anthony McCarten (Pan Macmillan, Macmillan)

My Name is Yip by Paddy Crewe (Doubleday, Penguin Random House)

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris (Duckworth)

The Half Life of Valery K by Natasha Pulley (Raven Books, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Four Treasures of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang (Penguin Michael Joseph)

Huge congratulations to each of these authors. You can find out more about the other awards revealed on the night, here.


New Voices Award: One part of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, the New Voices Award supports writers to develop an idea they've yet to commit to paper, or those in the very early stages of their work in progress.

The Award provides mentorship and editorial guidance for aspiring authors and encourages entries from all writers, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, with a new story to tell. To participate, writers must submit their opening three chapters totalling no more than 10,000 words and a full plot outline of no more than 1,000 words detailing where they imagine the story will go. 

Learn more and enter here.


Visit www.wilbur-niso-smithfoundation.org to learn more about the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize and our charitable work in education.