BYLINES does not post opportunities that require a submission fee. Learn more.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

The Nan Shepherd Prize

web site

Applications are open to previously unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland, who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing, whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances. This means that entrants must not have published full-length books of fiction or non-fiction (including children’s books) with a trade publisher. However:

  • Entrants who have published books of poetry are eligible to enter.
  • Entrants who have published short pieces of writing (fiction or non-fiction) in magazines, books or journals, including poetry, essays, journalism or short stories, are eligible to enter.
  • Self-published authors are eligible to enter.
  • Writers who have previously held book contracts are eligible to enter.

From 24 June 2019, entrants will be invited to submit the following:

A one-page synopsis of their book, followed by outlines of every chapter. The book need not be completed before submission, but the idea being proposed should be narrative non-fiction and deal with nature in some form.

A sample chapter or chapters totalling no more than 10,000 words.

A biographical note, including information on why you feel underrepresented in nature writing, and any relevant information such as previously published short works or poetry, agent details, social media accounts, literary prizes won or nominated for, etc. This should be no longer than 500 words and should be pasted in the body of the email.

Submissions are open from 24 June 2019 to 10 September 2019. The shortlist will be announced in October. If you do not hear from us by 31 October 2019, unfortunately you have not been shortlisted. The winner will be chosen by the judging panel and announced in November 2019.

How to enter:

In the email subject, entrants should include their name and the title of their submission.
In the body of the email, entrants should provide their full name, address and contact phone number as well as the biographical note referenced above, and the total number of pages they have submitted.
The submission should be typed and saved in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF format; all documents must be submitted at the same time and attached to a single email. The chapters of the manuscript must be supplied in one document. All documents should include page numbers.
The attachments should be clearly individually marked as ‘synopsis and outline’ and ‘sample chapters’. Each document should be marked in the file name with the author’s name and the title of the work and this information should also be marked on every page of each document.
Please send your entry to If you are unable to submit as per the above guidelines, please email or call us on 0131 557 5111 to arrange an alternative method which works better for you.

Follow @NanPrize on Twitter or sign up to the Canongate newsletter to be the first to hear more.

Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules. Full Terms and Conditions are available here. For all enquiries, please email