Travel writers, adventurers, novelists and broadcasters with “millions of miles worth of travel experience” join retailers and editors in judging panels announced today, Monday 12th December 2016, for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards. Travel writer and biographer Sara Wheeler FRSC (Terra Incognita, Cherry: A Life of Apsley Cherry-Gerrard, The Magnetic North) is Chair of the panel that will decide the winner of the prestigious Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year (in association with the Authors’ Club), while Phoebe Smith, editor of Wanderlust, award-winning travel writer and author of many books on adventure and the outdoors, heads up the panel judging the Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the Year Award. Lyn Hughes, travel writer, ethical travel advisor and co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Wanderlust magazine, chairs the Specsavers Fiction (with a sense of place) judging panel.
They are joined on their respective panels by a collection of travel experts who will help judge some of the categories that make up the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards.
Benedict Allen – writer, explorer and adventurer whose books and television programmes include Into the Abyss, The Faber Book of Exploration (ed.), The Last of the Medicine Men and Expedition Africa
Helena Attlee – writer, academic and gardens expert whose books include The Land Where Lemons Grow, Italy’s Private Gardens, Great Gardens of Britain and The Gardens of Japan
Nic Bottomley, co-founder and owner Bath independent Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights, twice named Independent Bookshop of the Year
Matthew Fort – food writer and critic and judge on the BBC’s Great British Menu whose books include Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons: Travels in Sicily on a Vespa, Cooking by Numbers and the forthcoming Summer in the Islands
Jason Goodwin – historian and author of books including A Time for Tea: Travels in China and India in Search of Tea, On Foot to the Golden Horn, and the ‘Yashmin the Ottoman Investigator’ series of mysteries
Katie Hickman – novelist, travel writer and historian whose books include Courtesans, Daughters of Britannia, Travels with a Mexican Circus and The Quetzal Summer
Jeremy Seal – writer, broadcaster and expert on Turkey whose books include A Fez of the Heart, The Snakebite Survivors Club and Meander: East to West Along a Turkish River
Amy Sohanpaul, editor of Traveller magazine and author and co-author of many travel guides and handbooks
Rukhsana Yasmin, freelance editor, winner of the Kim Scott Walwyn Prize 2012 and a Bookseller Rising Star in 2014
Tony Maher, Managing Director of Edward Stanford Limited, said: “These expanded Awards deserve the best and this is surely the most qualified panel of judges imaginable. They are experts who have all helped to bring the furthest flung corners of the Earth into the reach of travel writing readers, and they will put their millions of miles worth of travel experience to excellent use in choosing our winners.” Maher also praised the high profile sponsors who are backing various Awards. He said: “I am absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure so many highly respected sponsors for the Awards and thank them all for their invaluable support.”
Shortlists will be created by a panel of booksellers and travel publishing buyers from within the industry. The winners will be announced at a star-studded dinner on 2nd February 2017 during the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival at Destinations: The Holiday and Travel Show at Olympia.
The winner of the first Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year competition, open only to unpublished aspiring travel writers, will also be revealed. The judging panel is overseen by Adrian Phillips, Bradt’s Managing Director and award-winning travel writer and broadcaster, as well as the publisher’s founder and travel guru Hilary Bradt, MBE. The winner’s prize will include a safari holiday for two to Uganda, a paid commission to write about the trip, and a place on the Bradt Travel-Writing Seminar. Submissions remain open until January 2nd 2017.
The ceremony will also include the announcement of the winner of the Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing, received last year by Bill Bryson. Maher said: “How fitting that as we reward one figure for their incredibly important contribution to travel writing over many years, we also introduce the world to a brand new writer who, we hope, will be inspired to invite us to join us on their future journeys, wherever they may go.”
National Book Tokens is sponsor of the Children’s Travel Book of the Year, London Book Fair sponsors the Innovation in Travel Publishing Award, Food and Travel Magazine sponsors the Food and Travel Book of the Year Award, and Specsavers is sponsor of the Fiction (with a sense of place) Book of the Year.
The winner of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year receives £5,000 and all winners receive an antique globe trophy, to be presented at the awards ceremony.
The full list of Awards is:
Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing
Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year, in association with the Authors’ Club
Specsavers Fiction (with a sense of place)
Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the Year
National Book Tokens Children’s Travel Book of the Year
Food and Travel Magazine Food and Travel Book of the Year
Destinations Show Illustrated Travel Book of the Year
London Book Fair Innovation in Travel Publishing
Lonely Planet Pathfinders Travel Blog of the Year
Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year
Shortlists for most categories will be announced on 6th January, though the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year shortlist will revealed at the 2017 Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards launch party at the National Liberal Club at 7pm on 17th January. The awards will be supported by a trade-wide travel books instore promotion at booksellers and libraries from 6th January until 24th February.