Shortlist announced for Lakeland Book of the Year 2024

by | Jun 17, 2024 | News

Judge Michael McGregor (Left) with 2023 Winner Amy Bateman (Right)

As the shortlist is announced for Lakeland Book of the Year 2024, there are less than three weeks to go before it’s revealed who will follow in the footsteps of last year’s overall winner, photographer and writer Amy Bateman.

Now in their 40th year, the Lakeland Book of the Year awards are open to new writers, as well as established authors. The only condition is that they must feature Cumbria in some way and this year’s submissions highlight the huge variety of both the county and its literary talent.

Covering almost every genre and subject, from local history and nature to politics and crime thrillers, this year’s entries have been narrowed down to a shortlist of 18. The finalists vying for the top prizes at a charity awards ceremony in Kendal on 9 July will be:

The Bill Rollinson Association Prize for Landscape and Tradition
An Illustrated History of Maryport – John Higham
Pedestrian Pleasures: A Short History of Walking in the Lake District – Graham Kilner
Rural – Rebecca Smith

The Bookends Prize for People and Business
A Newt in Hard Tarn – Derek Cockell
Politics on the Edge – Rory Stewart
Why We Run – Danielle Ledbury

The Gilpin Prize for Fiction
Silent Bones – Rachel Lynch
The Bay – Julia Rampen
The Cottage – Paula Hillman

The Latitude Press Prize for Illustration & Presentation
Cook Out – Harrison Ward
Sketching A Year in Lakeland – Liz Wakelin
The Lake District: A Watercolour Journey – PL Hobbs

The Wordsworth Prize for Literature and Poetry
All My Wild Mothers – Victoria Bennett
Gwen John: A Life in Sonnets – Steve Matthews
Some of us Just Fall – Polly Atkin

The Zeffirellis Prize for Guides & Places
A Literary Walking Tour of Carlisle – Dr P. Bradshaw
Brewers Loop – Beth and Steve Pipe
The Scafells: A Grand Tour – Guy Richardson

The judging panel is headed up by broadcaster Fiona Armstrong. As well as the Director of the Wordsworth Trust Michael McGregor, she will be making the final decisions alongside author Kathleen Jones.

Head Judge Fiona Armstrong comments “This year has been exceptional in terms of quality and interest. What a time we have had deciding on the winners! You think it cannot get any better – and each year it does…”

Meanwhile, fellow judge Kathleen Jones comments “There are some big names on the shortlist this year, including best-selling authors living in the Lake District. It’s also wonderful to have such varied subject matter – from politics and history, to crime writing and personal stories. Judging the award is a joy!”
This year, there is also a special Children’s Poem of the Year category, which has both primary and secondary school sections. Judging and presenting the award will be Rachel Laverack, who is Chair of the National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE).

This year’s ceremony is supporting Cumbria Tourism’s 50th Anniversary Fund, which is aimed at encouraging and supporting young people to stay within the county and helping to kickstart their training/career in tourism and hospitality.

Tickets are still on sale here for the 2024 Lakeland Book of the Year Awards at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel on Tuesday 9 July.