Guardian and Masterchef food critic Grace Dent’s autobiography Hungry has been named the 2021 Lakeland Book of the Year.

 Presented this week at the Roundthorn Country House Hotel, the book, detailing the food personality’s life and experiences, impressed the judges with it’s honest and entertaining account of growing up in Carlisle.

Posting on Twitter, Carlisle-born Grace, who also received the The Zefirellis Prize for People & Business, said that she was “thrilled” to receive the prize for Hungry, which includes details of her early years growing up in Carlisle as part of a moving personal memoir.

Chosen from over 70 entries covering almost every conceivable category from wild swimming to Cumbria’s incredibly diverse history, Hungry was celebrated alongside five other category winners at a charity lunch in support of the Stroke Association, with the attendees raising over £600 for the cause on the day, with additional donations still coming in.

The judges, author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, renowned broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism President Eric Robson OBE and BBC newscaster, presenter and author Fiona Armstrong, entertained over 70 guests with their thoughts and insights on the 18-strong shortlist before announcing the six winners of 2021.

The awards, supported by James Cropper of Burneside, have continued uninterrupted for 37 years (with the 2020 event taking place virtually) and celebrate the breath-taking variety of top-quality writing inspired by Cumbria and the Lake District. Open to any book set in or featuring the county and published the previous year, previous winners have included Rory Stewart, James Rebanks and Alfred Wainwright.


The 2021 winners are:

The Zefirellis Prize for People & Business

Hungry, Grace Dent


The Bill Rollinson Prize for Landscapes and Traditions

Swimming Wild in the Lake District, Suzanna Cruickshank


The Striding Edge Prize for Guides and Places

English Pastoral: An Inheritance, James Rebanks


The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation

Terry Abraham: Life On The Mountains, Terry Abraham


The Bookends Prize for Literature & Poetry

Radical Wordsworth, Jonathan Bate


The Gilpin Hotel and Lake Prize for Fiction

Dead Ringer, Nicola Martin

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