SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 2023 NAN SHEPHERD PRIZE OPEN ON 31 MAY 2023 AND CLOSE ON 17 JULY 2023. If you’re a writer, please see below for the eligibility and entry requirements and if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Applications are open to previously unpublished writers based in the UK and Ireland, who consider themselves underrepresented in nature writing, whether through ethnicity, disability, class, sex, gender,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. This means that entrants must not have published full-length books of fiction or non-fiction with a trade publisher. However:

  • Entrants who have published books of poetry or children’s books are eligible to enter.
  • Entrants who have published short pieces of writing (fiction or non-fiction) in magazines, books or journals, including poetry, essays, journalism or short stories, are eligible to enter.
  • Self-published authors are eligible to enter.
  • Writers who have previously held book contracts are eligible to enter.
  • Writers who have previously entered the Nan Shepherd Prize are eligible to enter, including those previously longlisted or shortlisted

From 31 May 2023, entrants will be invited to submit the following:

  • A one-page synopsis of their book, followed by outlines of every chapter. The book need not be completed before submission, but the idea being proposed should be narrative non-fiction and deal with nature or the environment in some form.
  • A sample chapter or chapters totalling no more than 7,000 words.
  • A biographical note, including information on why you feel underrepresented in nature writing, and any relevant information such as previously published short works or poetry, agent details, social media accounts, literary prizes won or nominated for, etc. This should be no longer than 500 words and should be pasted in the body of the email.

Please send your entry to If you are unable to submit as per the above guidelines, please email or call us on 0131 557 5111 to arrange an alternative method which works better for you.

(If you would like more information about the submission and how best to present your work you might find this breakdown of the brief useful.)

Submissions are open from 31 May 2023 to 17 July 2023. The longlist will be announced in August 2023. If you do not hear from us by 31 August 2023, unfortunately you have not been longlisted. The shortlist will be announced in September 2023. The winner will be chosen by the judging panel and announced in October 2023.

You can also explore our resources, which has advice for aspiring nature writers, information on agents, magazines and journals, the publishing process and more.

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Submission of an entry is taken as acceptance of the entry rules. Full Terms and Conditions are available here. For all enquiries, please email

Marchelle Farrell


About the Prize
Find out more about the only literary prize for underrepresented voices in nature writing
About Nan Shepherd
The author of The Living Mountain and inspiration for the prize