The finalists for one of the most prestigious literary awards outside London have been released and the all-star judging panel now have the difficult choice of crowning one as the 2018 Lakeland Book of the Year.

Covering almost every genre and subject, from local history and nature to stunning Cumbrian photography, this year’s entries have been narrowed down to a shortlist of 15 by author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism Chairman Eric Robson and BBC newscaster and author Fiona Armstrong.

The finalists will have a tense wait until Tuesday 10 July for the winners to be announced. This year’s glittering charity luncheon at the Castle Green Hotel, Kendal will be in support of St Mary’s Hospice in Ulverston and the prizes will be awarded alongside entertaining comments and reviews from the judges.

Founder of the awards, Hunter Davies OBE, says:

“As ever I am humbled by the time and research, patience and perseverance that Cumbrians put into producing books about Cumbria. I feel a cheap skate by comparison. Or is it cheese plate… “

As well as the ultimate accolade, the five additional prizes on offer are:

  • 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


2018 Lakeland Book of the Year Shortlist

(In alphabetical order)

Botcherby – A Garden Village by Patricia M Hitchon

Britain’s First Black Policeman by Ray Greenhow

Capture Lakeland by James Bell

Lake District Fell Farming by Terry McCormick

Lives Beneath our Feet by Geoff Pegg

Portrait of Cumbria by Phil Rigby

Sun Shines Fair on Carlisle Wall vols I and II by Stephen Matthews

The Blackbird Diaries by Karen Lloyd

The Long View by Harriet Fraser and Rob Fraser

The Story of Lowther by Charlotte Fairbairn

The Thunder of Guns by Alan Michael Whitworth

The Wainwrights in Colour by Andy Beck

The Yards of Kendal by Trevor Hughes and Arthur Nicholls

Who Shot Percy Topliss by Jim Cox

Yarns from the Ropeworks by David Ellwood.


The awards are again this year in partnership with James Cropper PLC, based at Burneside Mills. This association is particularly apt as virtually all the UK’s hard-backed books are printed on paper produced in this Cumbrian factory. As well as financial assistance, James Cropper has also provided advice and, of course, the paper for the event’s printed material.

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