Outskirts – Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize

Two weeks ago I was amazed to discover that Outskirts, my book on growing up on the edge of the green belt, had been shortlisted for the UK travel and nature writing award The Wainwright Prize.

John Grindrod Outskirts with photos of his mum and dad

Find out more about Outskirts here.

The longlist was full of authors I loved, and so I had no expectations of making it any further, so imagine my surprise to discover it had made it through. The shortlist is full of really cool books:

The Last Wilderness by Neil Ansell
Hidden Nature by Alys Fowler 
Outskirts by John Grindrod 
The Dun Cow Rib by John Lister-Kaye 
The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris
The Seabird’s Cry by Adam Nicolson 
The Salt Path by Raynor Winn 

I have been so lucky to have had such a great response from readers of Concretopia and Outskirts, and it's been that reaction that has kept me writing, so thank you. But Outskirts suffered from being published the same week as the snap election last year, and so disappeared somewhat. So this prize shortlisting has given the book I am most proud of a moment in the sun. Thank you to everyone who has supported it.

Here's a film shot at the shortlisting party at Waterstones Piccadilly. I was actually on holiday at the seaside that week, and popped back to London on what I think was the hottest day of the year, which may explain why (a) I'm so red and (b) my hair has stuck together into one large pointy spike.

Fingers crossed for the award ceremony, eh? Not that I imagine for one moment I will win, with all of these proper writers on the list. But for the moment I'm keeping the dream alive...


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