Richard Jefferies Society & White Horse Bookshop Literary Prize
“The Richard Jefferies Society and White Horse Book Shop Literary Prize”
will be awarded to the author of the publication considered by the judging
panel to be the most outstanding nature writing published in a given calendar
year. The winning work will reflect the heritage and spirit of Jefferies’
An annual prize of £1,000
will be awarded for any length or format of writing on themes or topics broadly
consistent with the work of Richard Jefferies. It has to be published (not
re-published) within the calendar year and
first English translations of works are eligible. E-books are excluded from the
Nominations may be made by anyone. Decisions
about the Prize will be made by the Society's Executive Council and will be
final. The right not to make an award in a given year is
The closing date for nominations is 31 December.
Please send your nominations by using the email button and include as much
covering information as possible.
John Webb, one of the Society's most active members, died in 2014.
He left the Society a legacy that will be used as a memorial to him. The
Richard Jefferies Society Writers’ Prize commenced in 2015. The Following
year the competition was promoted
in collaboration with Angus McLennon, proprietor of the White Horse Book Shop
in Marlborough, who doubled the prize
The Panel judging publications from 2015 considered a long-list of 10 books, reduced at a preliminary meeting to three. These three were: Common Ground, by Rob Cowen, published by Hutchinson; Gods of the Morning, by John Lister-Kaye, published by Canongate; and The Moth Snowstorm, by Michael McCarthy, published by John Murray.
The final decision of the Panel was that the prize should be
awarded to John Lister-Kaye, for Gods of the Morning. This book was felt
to be lyrically written, with a true naturalist’s eye for the changing seasons
and times of day; the hardships experienced by man and beast in the harshest
winters; and his own personal encounters with a wide range of wildlife from
ravens to young spiders. The extensive studies of rooks – (from the bathroom of
Lister-Kaye's house!) – reminded the judges of Richard Jefferies' observations
on the same species; observations brought together into one book by an
enterprising publisher. Gods of the Morning is a book by a man who is as
familiar with his local Scottish wildlife and countryside as Richard Jefferies
had been with his Wiltshire local environment; and both authors also had the
ability to describe some of the local human population in deft terms.
An outstanding first winner of the Richard Jefferies Society Writers’ Prize, Lister-Kaye is able to convey
the joy of nature in an uncomplicated and eloquent fashion.
There have been sixteen nominations for the 2016 award. The short-list will be announced at the end of March 2017. A final decision about the winner will be made on Saturday 13 May.