The 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize is open to entries until July 17, 2023. If you are an unpublished nature writer, please submit your book proposal for your chance to win a £10,000 publishing contract with Canongate Books.

The Nan Shepherd Prize is a competition to find the next voice in nature writing. It aims to celebrate nature writing and provide an inclusive platform for emerging nature writers from underrepresented backgrounds.

The winner receives a £10,000 publishing contract with Canongate Books including editorial mentoring. If the winner does not already have a literary agent, then they will also receive an offer of representation from Caro Clarke of Portobello Literary Agency.

Eligibility Guidelines:

  • Applications are open to previously unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland, who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing, whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances.
  • Entrants must not have published full-length books of fiction or non-fiction with a trade publisher.
  • Entrants who have published books of poetry or children’s books are eligible to enter.
  • Entrants who have published short pieces of writing (fiction or non-fiction) in magazines, books or journals, including poetry, essays, journalism or short stories, are eligible to enter.
  • Self-published authors are eligible to enter.
  • Writers who have previously held book contracts are eligible to enter.
  • Writers who have previously entered the Nan Shepherd Prize are eligible to enter, including those previously longlisted or shortlisted.

Submit the following:

  • A one-page synopsis of their book, followed by outlines of every chapter. The book need not be completed before submission, but the idea being proposed should be narrative non-fiction and deal with nature or the environment in some form.
  • A sample chapter or chapters totaling no more than 7,000 words.
  • A biographical note, including information on why you feel underrepresented in nature writing, and any relevant information such as previously published short works or poetry, agent details, social media accounts, literary prizes won or nominated for, etc. This should be no longer than 500 words and should be pasted in the body of the email.

Submit your entry to [email protected]. If you are unable to submit as per the above guidelines, please email [email protected].

Deadline: July 17, 2023

Good luck to all applicants! The longlist will be announced in August and the shortlist will be announced in September. The winner will be chosen in October 2023.

For all enquiries, please email [email protected] or go here.