Did you use lockdown to publish that book you always meant to write? The 2021 Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year is open for entries and the judges are looking for their next winner.

The competition celebrates and showcases the myriad of literature the Lake District inspires each year. Open to any book published in 2020 – set in or featuring Cumbria – the awards attract entries include authors, poets, historians and more following in the footsteps of Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and countless others whose work has helped put Cumbria on the literary map.

Now in its 37th year, the competition continues to go from strength to strength, with not even the Coronavirus pandemic halting proceedings. “2020 definitely gave us an extra challenge” says Sam Tollerson, awards organiser. “We had to hold the ceremony online for the first time ever! All being well, we’ll be able to meet the authors in person next year as we celebrate their achievements together.”

2020’s winner was The Lake District in 101 Maps and Infographics by David Felton, Evelyn Sinclair and Andrew Chapman, a unique and dazzling collection of facts and statistics shedding light on all aspects of the area’s history, culture and more. Special recognition was also given to local hotelier John Cunliffe’s memoir Slightly Perfect following his passing earlier this year.

Other recent winners have included Alan Cleaver and Lesley Park’s The Corpse Roads of Cumbria in 2019 and Phil Rigby’s photographic collection Portrait of Cumbria in 2018. Many entries also focus on the area’s worldwide reputation for adventure and the outdoors, with Lakeland legend Alfred Wainwright winning in 1985.

Joint 2020 winner David Felton said “Winning Lakeland Book of the Year in 2020 really helped drive interest in – and sales of – my book in what has been a tough year for Cumbrian retail and small independent businesses based in the county. The Lakeland Book of the Year event is always a highlight of the calendar for those of us with a passion for books, for Cumbria – and for both.”

The judges, who all have a background in writing and broadcasting, are:

  • Awards founder Hunter Davies OBE
  • Broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism President, Eric Robson
  • Fiona Armstrong, Lord Lieutenant of Dumfries

The panel will read and shortlist entries before category winners and the overall Book of the Year are announced at a charity event in June, in support of the Stroke Association.

Authors and publishers can learn more about how to enter at or by contacting Cumbria Tourism at The deadline for entries is Friday 26th February 2021.

The Lakeland Book of the Year is generously supported by the Cumbria Community Foundation and the Hunter Davies Fund, which allow the continued celebration of the county’s literary prowess.

Cumbria Tourism provides administration and PR support to the Lakeland Book of the Year alongside external organisers and the judging panel.

For further information

Contact The PR Team on
01539 822222 or