Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020 Shortlist & Winners

Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020

The Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards 2020 were announced tonight at a reception in the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners!

You will find all of the categories and nominees below with the winners in bold. The categories also have descriptions, which were copied from the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards website.

A few of the nominees and winners appeared on the Travel Writing World podcast. Those authors’ names are linked to their respective interviews. Alternatively, you can listen to the interviews in your favorite app by subscribing to the show.

Again, congratulations to all nominees and winners!


Edward Stanford Award for Outstanding Contribution to Travel Writing

Paul Theroux

Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year

Titles have been selected in this category for their innovative and/or literary merit with content which is relevant, useful or inspiring to travelers:

• Underland: Robert Macfarlane, (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin General)
• On the Plain of Snakes: Paul Theroux (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin General)
• Epic Continent: Nicholas Jubber (John Murray)
• Lotharingia: Simon Winder (Picador)
• The Bells of Old Tokyo: Anna Sherman (Picador)
• Last Days in Old Europe: Richard Bassett (Allen Lane)
• No Friend But the Mountains: Behrouz Boochani, translated by Omid Tofighian (Picador)
• Pravda Ha Ha: Rory Mclean (Bloomsbury)
• Around the World in 80 Trains: Monisha Rajesh (Bloomsbury)
• Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age: Sara Wheeler (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)

Cicerone Fiction, with a Sense of Place

These shortlisted fictional novels have been selected for their highly developed and integral sense of a real location interwoven within the plot or narrative:

• The Pine Islands: Marion Poschmann, translated by Jen Calleja (Serpent’s Tail)
• Snegurochka: Judith Heneghan (Salt)
• The Parisian: Isabella Hammad (Jonathan Cape, Vintage Publishing)
• Love in No Man’s Land: Duo Ji Zhuo Ga (Head of Zeus)
• Bangkok Wakes To Rain: Pitchaya Sudbanthad (Hodder & Stoughton, Sceptre)
• Little Faith: Nickolas Butler (Faber & Faber)

Steppes Travel Adventure Travel Book of the Year

This award will go to an author of an accessible non-fiction book, describing an individual’s personal adventure or recounting an historical life or expedition:

• Outpost: Dan Richards (Canongate Books)
• Rough Magic: Riding the World’s Wildest Horse Race: Lara Prior-Palmer (Ebury Press, PRH)
• From the Lion’s Mouth: A Journey Along the Indus: Iain Campbell (Bradt Travel Guides)
• The Impossible Climb: Alex Honnold, El Capitan and the Climbing Life: Mark Synnott (Atlantic Books – Allen and Unwin)
• Where There’s A Will: Emily Chappell (Pursuit Books)
• Journeys in the Wild: The Secret Life of a Cameraman: Gavin Thurston (Seven Dials – Orion)

Children’s Travel Book of the Year

These fiction or non-fiction titles for young readers have been selected as they inspire a love of travel, exploration, and adventure:

• The Lost Book of Adventure: from the notebooks of the Unknown Adventurer: by The Unknown Adventurer, edited by Teddy Keen (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)
• Together: Isabel Otter and Clover Robin (Little Tiger Group / Caterpillar)
• Prisoners of Geography: Tim Marshall, illustrated by Jessica Smith & Grace Easton (Elliott & Thomson / Simon & Schuster)
• Darwin’s Voyage of Discovery: Jake Williams (Pavilion Children’s Books)
• Fire Girl, Forest Boy: Chloe Daykin (Faber Children’s)
• Incredible Journeys: Levison Wood, illustrated by Sam Brewster (Hachette Children’s)

APA Publications Travel Memoir of the Year

• A Beginner’s Guide to Japan: Observations and Provocations: Pico Iyer (Bloomsbury)
• Footnotes: Peter Fiennes (Oneworld)
• Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia with Pushkin and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age: Sara Wheeler (Jonathan Cape, Vintage)
• Just Another Mountain: A Memoir: Sarah Jane Douglas (Elliott & Thompson Ltd)
• The Summer Isles: Philip Marsden (Granta)
• North Korea Journal: Michael Palin (Hutchinson)

Dorling Kindersley Illustrated Travel Book of the Year

This award is for a book of illustrations relating to travel, adventure or world cultures. Focused either on a single location or the entire World, with limited accompanying text:

• The Sky Atlas: Edward Brooke-Hitching (Simon & Schuster)
• Atlas of Vanishing Places – The lost worlds as they were and as they are today: Travis Elborough (White Lion Publishing)
• Silk Roads: Susan Whitfield (Thames & Hudson)
• Brilliant Maps: Ian Wright (Granta)
• The Atlas of Unusual Borders: Zoran Nikolic (Collins)
• Airline Maps: Mark Ovenden & Maxwell Roberts (Penguin, Particular)

Photography Travel Book of the Year

This award is for a book of photography relating to travel, adventure or world cultures. Focused either on a single location or the entire World, with limited accompanying text:

• Japanese Gardens: Monty Don, Photographed by Derry Moore (Two Roads, John Murray Press)
• Remembering Lions: Wildlife Photographers United (Remembering Wildlife)
• Remarkable Road Trips: Colin Salter (Salamander, Pavilion Books)
• Forest: Walking Among Trees: Matt Collins, photography by Roo Lewis (Pavilion Books)
• Trope London: Sam Landers (Editor), Tom Maday (Editor) (Trope Edition/INGRAM)
• Two Wheels South: Matias Corea & Gestalten (Gestalten)

Travel Cookery Book of the Year

A shortlist of cookbooks or non-fiction food writing focused on a particular national cuisine or telling of food-related exploration/travel which capture a true sense of the place’s identity and culture:

• Be My Guest: Priya Basil (Canongate Books)
• The Forest Feast Mediterranean: Simple Vegetarian Recipes Inspired by My Travels: Erin Gleeson (Abrams)
• Fire Islands: Recipes from Indonesia: Eleanor Ford (Murdoch Books)
• Bazaar: Sabrina Ghayour (Mitchell Beazley)
• Hungry: Jeff Gordinier (Icon Books)
• AMA: Betty Hallock (Author), Josef Centeno (Author),  Ren Fuller (Photographer) (Chronicle)

Lonely Planet Debut Travel Writer of the Year

• Salt on Your Tongue: Charlotte Runcie (Canongate Books)
• Mind is the Ride: Jet McDonald (Unbound)
• The Country of Larks: A Chiltern Journey, Gail Simmons (Bradt Travel Guides)
• That Untravell’d World: Seven Journeys Through Turkey: Nicholas Dylan Ray (Signal Books Ltd)
• Extreme Economies: Richard Davies (Transworld – Bantam Press)
• Sovietistan: Erika Fatland, translated by Kari Dickson (MacLehose Press)

Bradt Travel Guides New Travel Writer of the Year

• Closer to Home: Kirstin Zhang
• Just Visiting: Chris Baker
• Of Straws that Break Camels’ Backs: Christopher Walsh

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