Amy Liptrot’s debut book was named winner of the prestigious award for nature writing at a special event at BBC Countryfile Live this afternoon.
The Outrun, her account of reconnecting with her native Orkney, beat five other titles to win the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize.
Dame Fiona Reynolds, chair of the judging panel, called The Outrun ‘brave and searingly honest’.
The book follows Amy Liptrot’s return to Orkney after more than a decade away in London. At the age of 30, Amy finds herself washed up back home, standing on an unstable cliff edge, trying to come to terms with all that has happened. Spending early mornings swimming in the bracingly cold sea, and the days and nights tracking Orkney’s wildlife, she makes the slow journey towards redemption
Celebrating her prize win, Amy Liptrot said: ‘I am so honoured and delighted to have been awarded The Wainwright Prize, especially in a year with such a strong shortlist. That the judging panel are independent of sponsor influence speaks highly of both the Prize and Wainwright Golden Beer, and I hope their association continues to bring works of nature writing to a wider readership.’
Six authors were shortlisted for the prize:
- Amy Liptrot, The Outrun (Canongate)
- Robert Macfarlane, Landmarks (Penguin)
- Rob Cowen, Common Ground (Windmill)
- Michael McCarthy, The Moth Snowstorm (John Murray)
- Katherine Norbury, The Fish Ladder (Bloomsbury)
- James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life (Penguin)
Fiona Reynolds said: ‘We felt bowled over by the quality of the entries this year and this year’s shortlist is the best yet. We struggled with the task of judging it and although our winner was our unanimous choice we were torn by the process and commend all the shortlisted authors for their contributions.’
Now in its third year, the Wainwright Golden Beer Prize awards £5,000 annually to the work that best reflects renowned nature writer Alfred Wainwright’s core values of celebrating the great British outdoors.
The awards are supported by the National Trust with publishers Frances Egan, brewers Thwaites and BBC Countryfile Magazine.
Highlights from BBC Countryfile Live, including interviews with the shortlisted authors, will be shown on BBC One’s Countryfile in August.
For more see: www.wainwrightprize.com.