We are delighted to announce the six-strong shortlist for the Best Unpublished Manuscript award of the 2020 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

BEST UNPUBLISHED MANUSCRIPT

In partnership with Bonnier Books UK

Jacob P. Avila CAVE DIVER (Australia)

Dan Cross THE LIONESS AND THE FLAME (UK/Colombia)

Tony Durrant VELDT HUNTER (UK)

Gail Kirkpatrick SLEEPERS AND TIES (Canada)

Jack Rees THE SECRET CITY OF THE SUN (UK/USA)

Joe Totten THE LAW OF CAPTURE (USA)

Read more about the authors and their manuscripts here

The Best Unpublished Manuscript award is an incubator for aspiring adventure writers, open to those of any nationality, writing in English. This year we were thrilled to receive manuscripts from writers from seventeen different countries.

The award has been a partnership between The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation and Bonnier Books UK and the six authors are all in with a chance of winning a publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK.

Over the summer, each of the shortlisted authors will received d one-to-one support to develop their manuscripts with Literary Consultant, David Llewelyn. The support is intended to help each writer reach the standard necessary for submission to agents and publishers, regardless of who the winner will be.

Part of the panel responsible for shortlisting the manuscripts, along with representatives from the publishers, David Llewelyn said:

“It is a very strong shortlist. The six authors’ works encompass such a wide range of subject matter, within the broad genre of ‘adventure’ novels; a straightforward conspiracy, a Western epic, a Canadian odyssey, a medieval historical saga, a Boer War conflict drama, and a Victorian adventurer/spy novel set in Peru. I am always heartened by the creative spirit which seems to underlie this particular genre which allows free rein to an author's imagination."

Previous winners of the award have secured publication including The Hum of the Sun by South African writer Kirsten Miller, now published by Kwela Books; Blood in the Dust by Australian Bill Swiggs, published by Zaffre; and 2019 winner What We Did at the End by Cecily Blench’s manuscript which has joined the list at Bonnier Books UK. 

The winning author will be announced online on the 9th September 2020 and, although still to be determined, we hope, also in person.