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Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize: Published, Unpublished & Up To 21

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It’s the final week for publishers and authors to submit their entries for 2018 Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize – the deadline is the 12th March. This is of particular importance to those publishers and agents seeking to submit entries by post.

The prize is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English, including published and unpublished authors, and seeks to support and celebrate the best new adventure writing.

See full details on criteria and how to submit.

Books and manuscripts can be submitted in one of the following three categories:


Prize: £15,000

Novels must be published between 1st January 2017 and 30th April 2018.

Proof copies are accepted.

Novels can be submitted by publishers, agents or authors.


Prize: £7,500 Writer’s Adventure Research Award and guidance from Wilbur’s literary agent

Novels must be 50,000+ words in length and authors not represented by a literary agent. Self-published books are eligible.


Short stories by writers aged up to and including 21 years | Prize: £1,500 and digital publication with Worldreader

Entrants must be aged 21 years or under at time of submission. Stories must be between 1,500 and 5,000 words.

Deadline for submissions: 12th March 2018

The awards will go to the entries which best fit our definition of adventure writing.

We expect an adventure story to:

  • Take the reader on an epic journey, exploring new horizons – be they historical or geographical
  • Explore the themes of courage, endurance and resourcefulness
  • Allow readers to connect with a different reality or culture

The 2018 judging panel comprises:

Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwean gold-medal Olympic swimmer

Alex Crawford, Sky News Foreign Correspondent

Kevin Conroy Scott, Wilbur Smith’s Literary Agent

Stef Penney, author and winner of the 2017 Adventure Writing Prize

Steve Winter, award-winning National Geographic Photographer and Filmmaker.

  • The Dark Room by Sam Blake
  • allianceindependentauthors.org

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