Otherlands, The Insect Crisis and October, October Shortlisted for the James Cropper Wainwright Prize

Posted on 25/07/2022

We are utterly delighted to have three titles shortlisted for the 2022 James Cropper Wainwright Prize. Now in its ninth year, the Nature Writing Prize judging panel is chaired by TV presenter Ray Mears, with BBC Countryfile presenter Charlotte Smith acting as the chair of judges for the Conservation Prize.

Named after much-loved nature writer Alfred Wainwright, the aim of the Prize is to inspire everyone to connect with nature and embrace the outdoors. This year’s shortlisted books “reflect the astonishing range and depth of nature writing, with titles that confront difficult, yet vitally important issues around climate change, food supplies and the decline of insects, stressing urgency of action whilst offering hope for the future, celebrating the wonder of life everywhere – from our back gardens to the Arctic Circle – and illuminating the healing power of nature through stories of personal connection and discovery.”

Thomas Halliday’s Sunday Times bestseller Otherlands: A: World in the Making (Allen Lane, 2022) is nominated for the ‘Nature Writing’ category. Dazzlingly original and epic in scope, Otherlands  takes us back in time, showing us the Earth as it used to exist, and the worlds that were here before ours, to provide a mesmerising encounter with eras that are normally unimaginably distant.

The Insect Crisis (Atlantic, 2022), written by the Guardian US’s Anthropocene reporter Oliver Milman, has a coveted spot on the ‘Writing on Conservation’ shortlisted. This compelling and entertaining investigation celebrates both the incredible variety of insects in all their strangeness and beauty and the inspiring people who tirelessly study and conserve them.

We are also thrilled to see that Katya Balen’s October, October (Bloomsbury, 2020) has earned a spot on the first ever ‘Children’s Writing on Nature and Conservation’ shortlist, after winning the 2022 Yoto Carnegie Medal earlier this year. Written in Balen’s heart-stoppingly beautiful style, October, October is the life affirming story of a girl who fights to find the space to be wild in the whirling chaos of the world beyond her beloved woods.

Congratulations to all the other shortlisted authors. We will be keeping everything crossed for the winners’ announcement on 7th September at The London Wetland Centre.