key dates

31 May–25 August
29 September

The 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize longlist will be announced on 29 September.

Between 31 May and 25 August 2023 unpublished nature writers were invited to submit their book proposals to the 2023 Nan Shepherd Prize. Submissions are now closed. Thank you to everyone who submitted. The longlist will be announced on 29 September 2023 at 1pm BST.

The prize is open to previously unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing, whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender, sexuality or any other circumstances. Not sure if you qualify? Take a look at the full eligibility requirements and if you still have any questions, please ask!

What does the winner receive?

The winner receives a £10,000 publishing contract with Canongate Books. This includes editorial mentoring. If they do not already have a literary agent, then they will also receive an offer of representation from Caro Clarke of Portobello Literary Agency.

What if you don’t win? Can you take your proposal elsewhere?

Yes! The prize has been designed to have entry requirements that match what an agent or publisher would look for in a book proposal. We hope it can be a useful encouragement to get you to work on your book.

How do I apply?

The prize is now closed for submissions, and the longlist for the 2023 prize will be announced on 29 September 2023. The prize will run again in 2025. The submission guidelines are still available to read here.

Marchelle Farrell


Moving between Trinidad and an idyllic English country garden, this lyrical and reflective book is about the search for home.

Nina Mingya Powles

Small Bodies of Water

In lyrical, powerful prose, Small Bodies of Water weaves together memories, dreams and nature writing. Exploring everything from migration, food, family, earthquakes to the ancient lunisolar calendar.