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The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation - Adventure Writing Prize 2018


The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation

- Adventure Writing Prize 2018

at The Stationers’ Hall, London

In a packed and atmospheric Stationers’ Hall near St Paul’s Cathedral, the three big awards were handed out at this year’s Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation’s Adventure Writing Prize-Giving evening.

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an international competition that supports and celebrates the best adventure writing today.

First awarded in 2016, the Prize recognises published, unpublished and young authors alike. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. Sadly, Wilbur himself couldn't make it, but Niso flew in from Cape Town to hand out the prizes. The Main Prize is split into two separate categories – an award for the best published adventure novel (the prize is £15,000) and an award for the best unpublished manuscript by a debut author (winning £7,500).

The winners! Drum roll, please...

The Best Published shortlist was Nucleus by Rory Clements, Sugar Money by Jane Harris, No Good Brother by Tyler Keevil, A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee, Looking For Evelyn by Maggie Ritchie and Pendragon by James Wilde. The winner was A Necessary Evil by Abir Mukherjee - who, sadly, couldn’t be here to receive his prize, but did send a video of thanks from Italy where he’s attending another literary event.

The Unpublished Award went to Bill Swiggs for his manuscript Blood In The Dust. He read an excerpt in his gorgeous, deep Aussie voice and admitted to me later that he started the story some twenty years ago but, after winning a battle against cancer, had to re-evaluate everything in his life. He pushed the book again. His advice, with a huge pile of rejection slips, is to never give up. Bonnier Zaffre will now publish his book!

[Bill Swiggs with his Prize]

The Author of Tomorrow Award is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. It is a competition open to young people, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. The stories must be 1500-5000 words.

It was won by fourteen-year-old Alice Cox for her story The Death of a Soldier.

[Alice Cox with her Prize]

All the other shortlisted young writers that attended were also welcomed onto the stage to be congratulated by Niso Smith.

A superb evening presenting some marvellous books and authors. A round of applause to Wilbur and Niso Smith for organising and running such a worthy foundation. The canapes were good, too!

(The photographs of the winners were taken by the author)

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