A Letter from Us to You...
To our wonderful friends and supporters,
It goes without saying that the world has changed dramatically since the start of the year. We hope you are all safe and well.
Like you, we're sure, our work has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Book distribution is disrupted, organisations and writers are cancelling events, and we're all doing what we can to move work online. Publishing is just one of the many sectors feeling the effects. We have taken the time to re-evaluate what is most important to the Foundation and where to focus our efforts supporting writers, promoting literacy and advancing adventure writing.
What does the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize have in common with Wimbledon and Glastonbury?
No, it's not the excitement! Well, it is. But it is also that the Best Published Novel award will be on hiatus for 2020. The awards for Best Unpublished Manuscript and the Author of Tomorrow will continue as planned, with great thanks to our partners at Bonnier Books UK and Worldreader.
We are of course disappointed not to be able to proceed as planned with the award but we extremely proud of how it celebrates the best new adventure writing today and will continue in its aim.
We know the power of books and shared experiences to bring us together. Isolated or not, books allow us to escape, encourage us to engage and lessen the gaps that divide us. With travel and meeting restrictions in place, we have made the decision to refocus our time and resources over the next six months to bring together our community of readers and writers, encouraging connection at this time.
In the next month, we will launch the #AdventureSociety, an online book club for adventurous people. Our fabulous panel of librarians and library staff who were tirelessly reading for the Prize have put forward some of their favourite adventures for the book list, all published within the last year.
We want to continue the adventures and these authors will be invited to participate in the book club. Guided by us, each fortnightly episode will be a light, fun and interesting way for you to engage directly with the writers and their stories. We want to support these writers to find new readers, and vice versa.
We remember our values to uplift, inspire and educate and we look forward to this next, if somewhat unexpected, step with you.
Keep well. Keep reading. With love,
All at The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation