The renowned Wainwright Prize, a prestigious accolade celebrating exceptional nature writing, is set to mark its 10th anniversary in none other than the picturesque town of Kendal. This momentous occasion not only underscores the growing significance of nature writing but also highlights Kendal’s emergence as a vibrant hub for creative thinking and literary excellence in the North of England.
Since its inception a decade ago, the Wainwright Prize has been at the forefront of recognising authors who intertwine the wonders of nature with the written word. The prize has consistently championed exceptional works that illuminate our connection with the natural world and inspire readers to engage more deeply with their surroundings.
The town of Kendal, nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of Cumbria, has been chosen as the backdrop for this milestone celebration, through a partnership with Kendal Mountain Festival. Named after Alfred Wainwright, this celebration is a homecoming, as the Prize returns to the town where the writer and artist lived and plotted the routes for what would later form his most famous work, ‘Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells’. The town’s rich history, cultural vibrancy, and close proximity to some of England’s most stunning natural wonders make it the perfect host for this gathering of great minds, and mark Kendal as one of the major art capitals of the UK.
Mark Cropper, James Cropper Chairman and one of the judges of this year’s Prize comments: “We’re over the moon to be bringing the James Cropper Wainwright Prize home to Kendal in a 10-year anniversary celebration befitting this fantastic accolade. Having produced bespoke papers for Alfred Wainwright’s wonderful Pictorial Guides; hosting the ceremony close to our mill in the town where Alfred Wainwright lived and worked is a very special moment.”
Mark Furnell, Chair of Judges for Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation Prize, says: “The sheer quality and diversity of titles shortlisted for this year’s James Cropper Wainwright Prize for Children’s Writing underline just how vibrant the writing and illustration are in this genre right now. There is something for everyone, from gripping novels, to deeply affecting stories, and informative non-fiction, all of which bring readers closer to the beauty and fragility of nature in today’s world.”
The anniversary celebrations in Kendal will span a day filled with thought-provoking panel discussions and captivating readings. The event will take place on the 14th of September, featuring over 20 of this year’s shortlisted authors, artists and previous winners in electrifying conversation on stage, discussing everything from youth climate action to the future of nature writing.
Attendees can expect to immerse themselves in a world of words that capture the essence of the natural world, while also exploring Kendal’s local charm and beauty. Local businesses, conservation organisations, and literary enthusiasts in Cumbria and beyond are joining hands to ensure the success of this event.
You can grab your tickets by heading to the Kendal Mountain Festival Website: https://tickets.kendalmountainfestival.com/events/search?query=wainwright+prize