Less than a month ago, the longlists for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize 2023 were announced. In the longlists we saw that for the first time in the prize's history women dominated all three of the longlists - the Prize for Nature Writing, the Prize for Writing on Conservation and the Prize for Children's Writing

Today, the 10th August, the shortlists for the 10th Anniversary of the James Cropper Wainwright Prize has been announced and dominated by the topic of the climate crisis. Authors in all three shortlists call for urgent action, radical solutions and celebrate the healing power of the natural world. 

The prizes, named after nature writer Alfred Wainwright are awarded to those books that the judges feel best reflect Wainwright's core values and celebrates nature and our natural environment, nurturing respect for our planet, or warning of the dangers to it across the globe. In honour of the 10th Anniversary of the prize, the prize pot has been increased, with winning authors receiving a share of £10,000.

This year's shortlists see works from independent publishers celebrated and established nature writers being joined by acclaimed new voices. 

The 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing judging panel is chaired this year by TV presenter Ray Mears. The chair for the prize for Writing on Conservation is CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, Craig Bennett. National Trust's Communication and Campaign Director, Mark Funnell chairs the Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation judges.

Speaking about the prize, Chairman of headline sponsers James Cropper and judge for the Writing on Conservation Prize, Mark Cropper says: “The  James Cropper Wainwright Prize and its authors and books are all about trying to open peoples’ eyes to  what’s happening in the world. Stories shared range from the wondrous to the deeply concerning and often  back again, as solutions to many of our deepest challenges are explored.”

The winners of all three categories are to be announced live on the 14th September at the James Cropper Wainwright Prize 10th Anniversary Celebration which will be held in partnership with the Kendal Mountain Festival. For the first time ever the prize is open to the public to watch the winners be announced live. Tickets can be found at: tickets.kendalmountainfestival.com

The shortlisted books are:

Nature Writing

The Flow: Rivers, Water and Wildness by Amy-Jane Beer

Twelve Words for Moss by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett

Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss

A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors; Translated by Caroline Waight

The Golden Mole And Other Living Treasure by Katherine Rundell; Illustrations by Talya Baldwin

Belonging: Natural histories of place, identity and home by Amanda Thomson

Writing on Conservation

Beastly: A New History of Animals and Us by Keggie Carew

Rewilding the Sea: How to Save our Oceans by Charles Clover

Rooted: How Regenerative Farming Can Change the World by Sarah Langford

Black Ops and Beaver Bombing: Adventures with Britain's Wild Mammals by Fiona Mathews & Tim Kendall

The Lost Rainforests of Britain by Guy Shrubsole

Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval by Gaia Vince

Children's Writing 

Protecting the Planet: The Season of Giraffes by Nicola Davies; Illustrated by Emily Sutton

Blobfish by Olaf Falafel

Spark by M. G. Leonard

A Wild Child's Book of Birds by Dara McAnulty

Leila and the Blue Fox by Kiran Millwood Hargrave; illustrated by Tom de Freston

Grandpa and the Kingfisher by Anna Wilson; illustrated by Sarah Massini