The winners of the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize were announced during a private online celebration on Wednesday 21st September.

The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation is delighted to announce that the winner of the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, Best Published Novel, is Giles Kristian for Where Blood Runs Cold (Bantam Press, Transworld).

Giles Kristian, Where Blood Runs Cold, Winner of the 2022 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize

Where Blood Runs Cold was selected by judges Jon Coates, Dwayne Fields, Rachel Joyce and Pip Stewart, along with a reader’s vote equating to one seat on the judging panel. The six-strong shortlist from across the globe, comprised two fiction debuts alongside four well-established authors.

Niso Smith, founder, said:

‘The Prize encapsulates the idea of adventure: there is a book for everyone on this shortlist. Where Blood Runs Cold is an action-packed winner with an emotional core, that reminds us to value the loved ones in our lives. Giles’ Norwegian heritage shines through in his masterful portrayal of the beauty and peril held in the frozen landscapes of northern Norway. Congratulations, Giles!’

She continues:

‘Thank you to the dedicated librarians and library staff who volunteered their time to read for the Prize. To the publishers and agents who submitted these books: we are thrilled to see the extent of adventure in the novels you are bringing into the world. Thank you for ensuring readers can be transported by tales such as these.’

The other titles on the shortlist were: 

Chris Hadfield THE APOLLO MURDERS (Quercus)

Giles Kristian WHERE BLOOD RUNS COLD (Bantam Press, Transworld Publishers)

John Marrs THE VACATION (Pan, Pan Macmillan)

T.L. Mogford THE PLANT HUNTER (Welbeck Publishing Group)

Chibundu Onuzo SANKOFA (Virago, Little, Brown Book Group)

Lizzie Pook MOONLIGHT AND THE PEARLER’S DAUGHTER (Mantle, Pan Macmillan)

Huge congratulations to each of the authors on the shortlist. Thank you for writing and sharing these wonderful novels with us. 

The annual Prize has three distinct categories designed to support and celebrate the best aspiring and established adventure writers today. It is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. Across the categories, the Prize received almost 900 submissions from more than 40 countries worldwide.


NEW VOICES, in partnership with Bonnier Books UK

Five writers have been selected for the inaugural New Voices award, designed to support them to take an idea and turn it into a finished manuscript.

The shortlisted authors hail from Australia, South Africa, the USA and the UK and will be supported through their journey by the Foundation as they received one-to-one editorial guidance and mentoring.

2022's New Voices Writers

Kate Parkin, Managing Director Adult Trade Publishing, at Bonnier Books UK, tells us:

‘New Voices is a chance for us, together with the Foundation, to support writers not just at the start of their careers, but right at the start of a work-in-progress.
The five selected writers captivated the judging panel with their work, taking us from the Arctic to Kenya, to the Caribbean and the open road in the southern states of America. Well done to each for their ingenuity and hard work. We’re anticipating five brilliant novels to come.’

For more information on the authors and their works-in-progress, please visit 2022 New Voices Writers.


AUTHOR OF TOMORROW, in partnership with Worldreader

Run in partnership with global literacy charity Worldreader, the Author of Tomorrow is open to young writers, aged 21 and under, who have completed a short adventure story.  Prizes are awarded in three age categories. The winning authors are:

2022's Authors of Tomorrow

11 and Under - Prize: £100 plus £150 book tokens for your school

Winner: Jeremiah’s Revenge by Caleb Indhivan Victor (age 11)

12-15 years - Prize: £100 plus £150 book tokens for your school

Winner: Brother, Bear by Ellie Karlin (age 13)

16-21 years - Prize: £1,000

Winner: Ketchup on Eggs by Grace Bailey (age 20)

Highly Commended by Niso Smith:

The Rajdhani Express by Rafi Ahmad (age 14)

Each of the ten shortlisted writers, aged from 10 to 21, worked with an editor to make their work ready for digital publication. The ten stories are now available to read in Worldreader’s open library, in an anthology titled Stars, Storms and Sandwiches.

To read the ten shortlisted stories, visit http://read.worldreader.org/ on your mobile or tablet and search by the title or for Author of Tomorrow.

We would like to thank everyone involved for helping the Prize become a rich and diverse space for writers of all ages and backgrounds to thrive in. To our volunteers and judges, we couldn't do it without you!