This year marks the 10th anniversary of the James Cropper Wainwright Prize. Named after nature writer Alfred Wainwright, the prizes are awarded to the work which best reflects 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. 

A total of 36 books have been longlisted for the 2023 James Cropper Wainwright Prize with 12 in each category – the Prize for Nature Writing, the Prize for Writing on Conservation, and the Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation. The longlists were selected from a record number of submissions, marking a golden age of nature writing.

For the first time in the prize’s history – women dominate all three longlists, with 26 of the 36 titles having been written by female authors, including Kerri ní Dochartaigh, Mya-Rose Craig, Katherine Rundell and Kiran Millwood Hargrave. To honour the 10 th anniversary, this year’s prize fund will be increased to £10,000 which will be shared amongst the winning authors.

The Nature Writing Prize judging panel is chaired by TV presenter Ray Mears; CEO of The Wildlife Trusts, Craig Bennett, is the Chair of Judges for Writing on Conservation; and Communications and Campaigns Director of National Trust, Mark Furnell, chairs the Prize for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation.

The longlisted books are:

Nature Writing
The Swimmer: The Wild Life of Roger Deakin
by Patrick Barkham
The Flow: Rivers, Water and Wildness by Amy-Jane Beer
Where the Wildflowers Grow by Leif Bersweden
Twelve Words for Moss by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett
Cacophony of Bone by Kerri ni Dochartaigh
Sea Bean by Sally Huband
A Line in the World: A Year on the North Sea Coast by Dorthe Nors; Translated by Caroline Waight
Belonging: Natural histories of place, identity and home by Amanda Thomson
Ten Birds that Changed the World by Stephen Moss
The Golden Mole And Other Living Treasure by Katherine Rundell; Illustrations by Talya Baldwin
Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival by Alice Vincent
Landlines by Raynor Winn

Conservation Writing

Sarn Helen: A Journey Through Wales, Past, Present and Future by Tom Bullough; Illustrated by Jackie Morris
Beastly: A New History of Animals and Us by Keggie Carew
Rewilding the Sea: How to Save our Oceans by Charles Clover
Birdgirl by Mya-Rose Craig
The Orchid Outlaw by Ben Jacob
Elixir: In the Valley at the End of Time by Kapka Kassabova
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
Forget Me Not by Sophie Pavelle
Fen, Bog, and Swamp: A Short History of Peatland Destruction and it's Role in the Climate Crisis by Annie Proulx
The Lost Rainforests of Britain by Guy Shrubsole
Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval by Gaia Vince

Children's Writing

The Earth Book by Hannah Alice
The Light in Everything by Katya Balen; illustrated by Sydney Smith
Billy Conker's Nature-Spotting Adventure by Conor Busuttil 
Protecting the Planet: The Season of Giraffes by Nicola Davies; Illustrated by Emily Sutton
Blobfish by Olaf Falafel
A Friend to Nature by Laura Knowles; illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
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
The Zebra's Great Escape by Katherine Rundell; illustrated by Sara Ogilvie
Archie's Apple by Hannah Shuckburgh; illustrated by Octavia Mackenzie
Grandpa and the Kingfisher by Anna Wilson; illustrated by Sarah Massini

The prize’s shortlists will be announced on 10th August, and the winners will be announced live on 14th September at the James Cropper Wainwright Prize 10 th Anniversary Celebration, held in partnership with the Kendal Mountain Festival. Tickets are available from today: