We are thrilled to announce the seven authors shortlisted for the 2021 Best Unpublished Manuscript award.

They are:

The Errand Boy: North by Garry Cochrane (UK)

Out Here, in this Country by Elena Croitoru (UK)

The Black Water Code by Sumanta Ganguli (India)

White Gold by Victoria Hopkins (UK)

Rajah Hawke by Paul Raffaele (Australia)

The Hound at his Heels by Alan Stone (UK)

Deadly Twist by Kendall Talbot (Australia) 

Read more about each of the authors and their manuscripts here

The award has been a partnership between The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation and Bonnier Books UK since 2018. It is an international award open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. This year, the Foundation received entries from 18 countries. Designed to launch the career of aspiring adventure writers, the seven authors are now in with a chance to secure a world rights publishing deal with Bonnier Books UK.

Kate Parkin, Managing Director, Adult Publishing at Bonnier Books UK, said,

‘Once again the Adventure Writing Prize has produced an exciting and original shortlist of unpublished manuscripts.  We are proud to partner with The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation in supporting such a talented group of debut writers.’

Over the next two months, the seven writers selected for the shortlist will all receive 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 is the final winner. 

Part of the panel responsible for shortlisting the manuscripts, along with representatives from Bonnier Books UK, David commented,

‘What a delight to see the usual international response from authors working in the adventure genre. One can only be impressed by the range of works submitted and the dynamic imaginations at play from people who clearly love creating such fascinating works of fiction.Congratulations to all who entered, as you are all winners in my book, and long may you continue to cherish your hours at the keyboard.’ 

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; 2019 winner The Long Journey Home by Cecily Blench, also with Zaffre and publishing in June 2021; and Cave Diver by Jake Avila, publishing with Zaffre in the UK and Echo Publishing in Australia in August 2021.

The winning author will be announced in an online ceremony on 8th September 2021, alongside the winners of the Best Published Novel award and the Author of Tomorrow, young writers’ short story competition for those aged 21 and under. 

The winner of this year's Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize will be revealed at a special online ceremony on 8th September 2021. In the meantime, keep up to date via our twitter @Wilbur_Niso_Fdn.