It’s hard to believe that the Wainwright Prize is only seven years old, such is the excitement that surrounds this book award for nature writing in the UK. In that short period of time, the prize has been awarded to works that have immediately become modern classics, books whose brilliance will endure well into the future, including The Outrun by Amy Liptrot, Underland by Robert Macfarlane and The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicholson. This year an additional prize category has been added to the original one, expanding the scope of the Wainwright endeavour to include works exploring environmental issues across the planet. This past Friday, on World Environment Day, the longlists for both prizes were made public, and I’m deeply honoured and thrilled to say that Irreplaceable: The Fight to Save our Wild Places has been included in the Writing on Global Conservation category. There are a number of fantastic and important books on this longlist, and I’m deeply grateful to the judges for including Irreplaceable, and, as always, thankful to those who shared their stories of connection and resistance that appear in its pages.
The full longlists for both the Nature Writing and Global Conservation categories can be found via the links. And for anyone interested in Irreplaceable, the first chapter of the book has been posted on the Wainwright Prize website. The Introduction can be read here, in a post called A Murmuration of Starlings. Congratulations to all the longlisted authors; the shortlists will be announced at the end of July.