We are thrilled to announce the longlist for the annual Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, Best Published Novel.

‘Whether you seek it or it finds you, an adventure must transport you, taking you away from your every day. Each of these twelve authors do exactly that, for us as readers and for their protagonists. 
These books take us to a 1990s Sarajevo under siege, on a road trip through the unforgiving Australian landscape, to a cold war research facility in a mysterious unnamed town, and challenge us to go off-grid for 30 days in a world even more technologically advanced than our own. We’re thrilled with the ambition and originality these authors show, and congratulate each of them for their electrifying novels.’

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

The following twelve authors and their most recent novels are in the running for the £10,000 prize:

Laurie Lico Albanese HESTER (Duckworth)

William Boyd THE ROMANTIC (Viking, Penguin Random House)

Rory Clements THE ENGLISH FÜHRER (Bonnier Books UK)

Paddy Crewe MY NAME IS YIP (Doubleday, Penguin Random House) 

Anthony McCarten GOING ZERO (Pan Macmillan, Macmillan)

Susanna Moore THE LOST WIFE (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Priscilla Morris BLACK BUTTERFLIES (Duckworth)

Natasha Pulley THE HALF LIFE OF VALERY K (Raven Books, Bloomsbury Publishing)

Alastair Reynolds EVERSION (Gollancz)

Emma Styles NO COUNTRY FOR GIRLS (Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group)

Alice Winn IN MEMORIAM (Viking, Penguin Random House)

Jenny Tinghui Zhang FOUR TREASURES OF THE SKY (Penguin Michael Joseph)

Read more about each of them here and buy a copy for yourself through Bookshop.org:

The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English, and seeks to support and celebrate adventure fiction in all its forms. The Prize welcomes the diversity this broad genre brings, looking for novels which both honour the traditions of adventure and those that try something new. 

We draw together a team of librarians and library staff from across the UK to select a longlist that encompasses, ‘An Adventure for Everyone.’ The panel considered almost 100 submissions from publishers and literary agents, by authors from across the world. British, Irish, American, Australian, New Zealand and Chinese-American authors are all represented on the list, with five of the twelve titles being debut works.

From the longlist, six titles will be selected by the same panel to progress to the shortlist, after which the titles progress to the expert judging panel. The Prize will also include a public vote over the summer with the reader’s choice equating to one seat on the judging panel. 

The Prize honours Wilbur Smith’s legacy, his unparalleled thirst for reading and discovering new writers, and wants to give the joy of a book you can’t put down to all book lovers around the world. The Foundation encourages readers to select the one that appeals to them most, then read, share and recommend. Download the longlist poster and share with your library, bookshop, or in your living room window.

The shortlist for Best Published Novel will be revealed on 1st June 2023 and the overall winner on 18th October 2023.

Have you read any of these novels? Tell us what you think on social media using #Adventurewriting