Caught by the River

The Nan Shepherd Prize

7th June 2023

Last week, Canongate announced that submissions for its 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize are open.

The Nan Shepherd Prize is a biennial literary prize for underrepresented voices in nature writing. It aims to celebrate nature writing, provide an inclusive platform for new and emerging writers from underrepresented backgrounds, and to discover brilliant new voices. It is named after Nan Shepherd, author of The Living Mountain, today recognised as one of the best books ever written on nature and landscape. Previously the Nan Prize has been won in 2019 by Nina Mingya Powles (Small Bodies of Water, 2021) and in 2021 by Marchelle Farrell (Uprooting, forthcoming August 2023).

Submissions for the 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize are open until Saturday 17 July. Entrants are invited to submit a non-fiction proposal with a focus on nature, the natural world and the environment. More details, and helpful publishing tips and resources, can be found at the website, on Twitter and on Instagram. The winner will receive a book deal with Canongate with a £10,000 advance, and the option of literary representation with The Portobello Literary Agency, a new Edinburgh-based Literary Agency run by a co-founder of the Nan Prize, Caroline Clarke.

The judging panel for the 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize includes Claire Ratinon, author of How To Grow Your Dinner Without Leaving the House and Unearthed: On Race and Roots, and How the Soil Taught Me I Belong; Jason Allen-Paisant, Poet & Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, author of Thinking with Trees; Peggy Hughes, Executive Director of the National Centre for Writing Norwich; Caroline Clarke, Literary Agent at the Portobello Literary Agency; Chair of the Judges, Helena Gonda, Senior Commissioning Editor at Canongate.

You can submit to the prize here.