The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English, and this year we are recognising the best adventure fiction published between 1st May 2020 and 30th April 2021. The six-strong shortlist for the 2021 Best Published Novel award is:

Why not download a copy of the shortlist poster to show your support and share in your library, bookshop, or in your living room window?


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The Foundation encourages readers to select the one that appeals to them most, then read, share and recommend. 

'Most of 2020 was a challenging time for all of us, including booksellers and publishers around the world. This said, we at the Foundation have an utmost respect for the authors, publishers and agents in their continued drive to reach readers in new ways. We are fortunate to work with a team of dedicated and passionate librarians and library staff to help select the shortlist.

These shortlisted novels are thrilling, sometimes witty, and will make you weep. There are so many emotions brilliantly put to paper in all these books that they are guaranteed to keep you up at night. Read one and it will present you with a fresh take on the world, read all six and the power of adventure will sweep you off your feet.'

- Niso Smith, Founder of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation

Throughout June and July, the Prize will run an online campaign with a public vote element, where the reader’s choice equates to one seat on the judging panel. Over the course of the campaign, the Foundation will host a series of online events which you will able to sign up for via the Foundation’s website, plus engagement opportunities for libraries and reading groups, to let you get to know the books and authors. 

The winner of this year's Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize will be revealed at a special online ceremony on 15th September 2021. In the meantime, keep up to date via our newsletter and twitter @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn.