The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation is delighted to announce the longlist for the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, for Best Published Novel. The 12-strong longlist is as follows:
- Sleeper: The Red Storm by J. D. Fennell (The Dome Press)
- The Encircling Sea by Adrian Goldsworthy (Head of Zeus)
- Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth (Pushkin Press)
- The Map of Salt and Stars by Zeyn Joukhadar (Weidenfeld & Nicolson/Orion)
- The Relic Hunters by David Leadbeater (Thomas & Mercer)
- Firefly by Henry Porter (Quercus)
- Winter World by A. G. Riddle (Head of Zeus)
- The Devil Aspect by Craig Russell (Constable/Little, Brown)
- The Anomaly by Michael Rutger (Bonnier Books UK)
- Preservation by Jock Serong (Text Publishing, to be released in September 2019)
- Liars’ Paradox by Taylor Stevens (Kensington Publishing)
- To The Lions by Holly Watt (Raven Books)
Now in its fourth year, the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an annual event. This year the best adventure novels published between 1st May 2018 and 30th April 2019 are being celebrated. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English.
Entries were received for the Best Published Novel award by authors from across the world including the USA, Australia, Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand and many more. The longlist was selected from these by a group of experienced library professionals.
Lauren LaTulip, chartered librarian and founder of Bluestocking Books UK, was part of the panel responsible for reviewing the submissions. When asked about the process, Lauren said:
“I found reading the books for the long list to be eye-opening – from Viking Iceland to World War Two to modern day Jordan, the books kept me turning pages, sometimes late into the night. I was impressed by the range of books, from adventures with sci-fi overtones to exciting and moving stories of refugees’ travel. The quality of the books I read was high. Discussing the books with the selection group was an enjoyable experience, with a fair bit of laughter as well as impassioned speeches! I have high hopes for the future of adventure writing and expect to see the winner of the prize a best-seller in the future.”
From the longlist, a number of books will now be selected for shortlist and, under guidance from an expert judging panel, the £15,000 first prize for Best Published Novel will be awarded at a ceremony in on 12th September 2019, at London’s Stationers’ Hall.
Responsible for administering the Prize, The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation says:
“Entries have increased annually since the inaugural Prize is 2016 and we were delighted to receive almost 100 submissions this year for this particular award. We hope this indicates more authors and publishers are recognising their books as adventure stories at heart.”
The shortlist for Best Published Novel will be revealed on 15th May 2019 and will be celebrated at Stanfords, Covent Garden, on 23rd May 2019. Tickets are available to the public and can be bought online.
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, the UK’s leading charity for reading; and Levison Wood, professional writer, explorer and photographer.
What do you think of the longlisted titles? Which have you read and do you think there are any books missing? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.
Share your thoughts with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #adventurewriting and @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn. Keep up with all the latest news, and find out about the 2019 partners, on the Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation website.
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