The finalists for the landmark 35th Lakeland Book of the Year have been unveiled and it’s been yet another fantastic year for Cumbria’s literary heritage.

The longlist for one of the most prestigious literary awards outside London, the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year, has been released and the competition’s expert judges now have the difficult task of selecting the final shortlist, six category winners and the overall 2019 winner.

Highlighting almost every aspect of the county, including the history of the land and its people, the huge range of poetry it inspires, and the countless outdoor activities available, the longlist of 20 fabulous books has been selected by author, columnist and founder of the competition Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster, ex-Gardener’s Question Time host and Cumbria Tourism Chairman Eric Robson and BBC newscaster and author Fiona Armstrong.



The authors will be on tenterhooks until the winners are unveiled at this year’s charity luncheon, held at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal on Tuesday 16 July. This year’s supported cause is Growing Well, a farm-based mental health charity near Kendal. Following the luncheon, prizes will be awarded by the judges, accompanied by their reviews and entertaining comments regarding this year’s entries.


As well as the ultimate accolade of the Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year 2019, the six additional prizes on offer are:

  • The Striding Edge Productions Prize for Guides & Places
  • The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration & Presentation
  • The Zeffirellis Prize for People & Business
  • The Bookends Prize for Arts & Literature
  • The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscape & Tradition
  • The Gilpin Hotel Group Prize for Poetry & Fiction


Tickets for the luncheon are available for £30 and can be purchased from Cumbria Tourism by visiting

The awards are again this year in partnership with James Cropper PLC, based at Burneside Mills, a fitting association with virtually all the UK’s hard-backed books printed on paper produced in this Cumbrian factory.

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


2019 Lakeland Book of the Year Longlist

(In alphabetical order)

70 Sonnets by Stephen Matthews

Bruffam: Henry, first Lord Brougham & Vaux 1778-1868 by David Crackenthorpe

Climbing Skiddaw: A History and an Anthology by Stephen Matthews

The Corpse Roads of Cumbria by Alan Cleaver & Lesley Park

Dalston: The Story of a Cumberland Parish by David Wilcock

The Debatable Land: The Lost World Between Scotland and England by Graham Robb

Derwentwater: In the Lap of the Gods by Ian Hall

Feather Bed & Shive of Cheese: Names in the Landscape of Finsthwaite, Lakeside, Stott Park & Ealinghearth by Sophia Martin, Pat Jones & Liz Kingston

Gin, Cake & Rucksacks by Beth Pipe & Karen Guttridge

Lakelanders: Stories and Poems about Living in a Lake District Valley by Andrea Meanwell

The Little Book of Cumbria by David Ramshaw

Making Their Mark: Learning to Read and Write in 19th-century Cumberland by Jane Platt

Morph by Jill Clough

Over the Hill at 60 Something by Barry Holmes

The Puppet Show by M.W. Craven

Running the Red Line by Julie Carter

The Stopping Places: A Journey Through Gypsy Britain by Damian Le Bas

This Place I Know: An Anthology of Cumbrian Poetry by Various Contributors

Wordsworth’s Gardens and Flowers: The Spirt of Paradise by Peter Dale & Brandon C. Yen

You Just Can’t Bottle It by Angela Frances Bell

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