We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the 2017 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, published award.

The six-strong shortlist is as follows:


Frank Gardner CRISIS (Bantam Press)

David Gilman THE LAST HORSEMAN (Head of Zeus)

Graham Hurley FINISTERRE (Head of Zeus)

Stef Penney UNDER A POLE STAR (Quercus)

Sara Sheridan ON STARLIT SEAS (Black and White Publishing)

James Swallow NOMAD (Zaffre Publishing)

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an annual event celebrating the best adventure novels published in the last calendar year. The Prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English. 

Under guidance from an expert judging panel, the £10,000 first prize will be awarded at a ceremony in September 2017, at London's Royal Geographical Society. 

The 2017 judging panel comprises Steve Winter, award-winning National Geographic Photographer; Alex Crawford, Special Correspondent at Sky News; Kevin Conroy Scott, Literary Agent of Wilbur Smith at Tibor Jones & Associates; and Corban Addison, best-selling author and winner of the 2016 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize.

Niso Smith, Founder of The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation, says: 

“The Prize is the Foundation’s flagship programme. We are delighted to have received such a high standard of submissions, from both established novelists and writers submitting their debut work of fiction. There are many talented adventure authors writing today and they need to be recognised for their outstanding work.

The shortlist really encapsulates the spirit of adventure writing. Each novel allows us a glimpse into different worlds and times, from modern-day to historical settings, and each with clear threats to overcome – whether that’s a fearsome human enemy, societal conventions, or the formidable power of nature.”

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize also awards recognition to a writer for the Best Unpublished Manuscript, and to the Author of Tomorrow – a writer aged 21 years and under who has submitted a short piece of adventure writing. The shortlist for the Best Unpublished Manuscript and Author of Tomorrow will be announced in late May.

Niso continues: 

“The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is a fantastic opportunity for new writers too. We want to encourage more people to write, to explore the adventure genre, and hopefully then we will see more adventure writers in the world.”

For more information on the shortlisted authors over the coming months, follow The Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation on Facebook and twitter