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Annual Cumbrian literary awards shortlist announced

The shortlist for this year’s Lakeland Book of the Year awards, has just been released. Twenty books made it to the short list the 50 books entered.

The Judges, Hunter Davies OBE (author and columnist), Eric Robson (broadcaster, writer and Cumbria Tourism Chairman), and Fiona Armstrong (BBC News broadcaster and the Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries), have spent the spring months pouring over the entries, administered by Cumbria Tourism.

Founder of the Awards, Hunter Davies, said: “I don’t think in 32 years we have had so many books on subjects I have never before read books about – such as the history of cattle droving, the history of holy wells in Cumbria and what must be the ultimate story of the Alhambra cinema in Ambleside.

Eric Robson described this year’s entries as “Dynamic, exciting, sometimes off the wall” and added “the annual Lakeland creative mix never ceases to amaze me.

Fiona Armstrong said: “Yet another few weeks of bliss – working our way through Cumbria’s literary offerings. Every year you think there can’t possibly be more to write about – and each year there always is.”

There are six prizes on offer:
• The Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides and Places
• The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation
• The Zeffirellis Prize for People and Business
• The Bookends Prize for Arts and Literature
• The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape and Tradition
• and finally, the ultimate accolade, The Hunter Davies Book of the Year 2016.

The awards will be presented at a charity lunch at the Armathwaite Hall Hotel on Bassenthwaite Lake on Wednesday 6th July when the judges will speak about the entries and announce the winners. This year, the charity is The Cumbria Flood Appeal, organised by Cumbria Community Foundation.

Short list for Lakeland Book of the Year 2016 (in alphabetical order):
• Beauty in the Lap of Horror by Stephen Matthews
• Cattle Droving Through Cumbria 1600-1900 by Peter Roebuck
• Cruel Tide by Ruth Sutton
• Five Boxes by Mark Maclean
• Frizington – Much More Than One Long Street by Arlecdon History Group
• Historic Cumbria Off the Beaten Track by Beth and Steve Piper
• I Wandered…. by Gary Boswell and Hideyuki Sobue
• Kick One and They All Limp by Geoff Pegg
• Lakeland Waterways by Robert Beale and Richard Kirkman
• Springs of Living Water by Father John Musther
• Susan Breeks of Helbeck by the late Rosemary Blackett-Ord
• The Art of Falling by Kim Moore
• The Dambuilders by Norman Nicholson
• The Gathering Tide by Karen Lloyd
• The Gretna Railway Disaster 100 Years Ago by Gordon L Routledge
• The Lake District, Cumbria by Christian Dymond
• The Round in Bob Graham’s Footsteps by Steve Chilton
• Walking with Birds by Colin Whittle
• Will You Take Us On Please? by Ian Payne
• Wordsworth, War and Waterloo by Simon Bainbridge and Jeff Cowton

The much appreciated partnership with James Cropper plc based in Kendal is continuing. The association is particularly appropriate, as virtually all hard-backed books published in the UK are bound using paper produced by James Cropper here in Cumbria. In addition to financial assistance, James Cropper has provided professional advice and, of course, all printed material required for the event is being produced on their paper.

Notes for editors:

1. For more information, contact Chris Tomlinson on 07770 688644 or Cumbria Tourism on 01539 822222.

2. The Lakeland Book of the Year Awards are the only literary awards of their kind outside of London. Newly published books with any relevance to Cumbria are eligible. Judges are writer and author Hunter Davies OBE (chairman), broadcaster and Lord-Lieutenant of Dumfries Fiona Armstrong and broadcaster and author Eric Robson.

3. Cumbria Tourism provides administration and PR support to the Lakeland Book of the Year which is organised by a team of external organisers and judges.

4. James Cropper is based in the Lake District, England’s first and foremost National Park, with a paper-making heritage that started in 1753. Since 1845 the business has been carefully stewarded and nurtured by six generations of the Cropper family. Today the business is renowned globally for its luxury packaging papers, which accompany many of the world’s most exclusive brands, while the world’s leading artists, galleries and museums use its framing and archival boards alongside its range of conventional artists materials. As well as paper products, James Cropper also manufactures nonwovens from carbon, glass and polymer fibres, which play a key part in production of composites in the automotive, energy and aerospace sectors. To find out more about the innovative production methods, product range, responsible manufacturing principles and history of James Cropper please visit

For further information

Contact The PR Team on
01539 822222 or