Key Dates for 2020

Monday 2nd December – Open for entries.

Friday 28th February – Closing date

Wednesday 1st April – Awards lunch tickets available to purchase

Wednesday 6th May – Short list released

Tuesday 30th June – Lakeland Book of the Year Awards (Roundthorn Country House Hotel, Penrith)

The competition is now closed. 


The 2019 Hunter Davies Lakeland Book of the Year was Alan Cleaver and Lesley Park’s The Corpse Roads of Cumbria.

Alan and Lesley, who also received the Latitude Press Prize for Illustration and Presentation at the event, bring to life a fascinating part of the county’s history. Corpse roads, the paths trodden by those transporting the dead across the countryside to their place of burial, still leave their mark upon the landscape today but Alan’s book brings them, and the stories they tell vividly to life.

Chosen from almost 60 entries, all set in or featuring Cumbria and published in the last year, Alan and Lesley’s book was celebrated alongside five other category winners at a charity luncheon held at the Castle Green Hotel in Kendal, this year supporting local mental health charity Growing Well.

The judges, author and columnist Hunter Davies OBE, renowned broadcaster and Cumbria Tourism President Eric Robson and BBC newscaster, presenter and author Fiona Armstrong, entertained almost 150 guests with their thoughts on the finalists before announcing the winners.

Following the announcement, Alan Cleaver said, “It’s absolutely fantastic to win such an esteemed prize, especially given the high calibre of the competition. It’s been an amazing celebration here today and winning really is the icing on the cake.”

Lesley Park added “We’d like to thank all of the judges and sponsors who help make these awards happen every year, there’s such a variety of topics showcased here and it’s truly fantastic to see them all recognised by a prestigious and long-running event – we can’t believe we won!”

Gill Haigh, Cumbria Tourism MD, commented: “Cumbria Tourism is delighted to be a long-term supporter of the Lakeland Book of the Year Awards, which every year showcase the full range and quality of writing inspired by our fantastic county. I am always impressed by the talent and dedication of all those who enter, and I never fail to learn something new! Alan’s book is a worthy winner and I can’t wait to take my family on some new adventures exploring Cumbria’s corpse roads and discovering more about their unique and fascinating history.”

Cumbria Tourism provides administration and PR support to the Lakeland Book of the Year, which is organised by a team of external organisers and judges.

The much-appreciated partnership with James Cropper plc, based in Kendal, continued for this year’s awards. The association is particularly appropriate, as virtually all hard-backed books published in the UK are bound using paper produced by James Cropper here in Cumbria. In addition to financial assistance, James Cropper provided professional advice and, of course, all printed material required for the event was produced on their paper.

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