Who we are

The Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG) was established in 1980 and will be 40 years young in 2020. Members of the Guild are actively and professionally involved in sustainable activities in any outdoor setting.

Kindred Spirits

Get to know and network with other writing and photography professionals - between us we cover a wide range of sustainable outdoors activities.

OWPG Awards

Our literary and photographic awards recognise the outstanding achievement of our members in their individual fields over the previous twelve months.

Members Forums

A set of private members-only forums for general banter and also to ask for advice from fellow professionals.

Our Associate Members

We are proud to be associated with the following companies and organisations

Why I'm in the Guild...

Some of our members comments on why they joined and why they stay in the guild
Roly Smith

Roly Smith

OWPG Member since 1983

“Persuaded by Kate Spencer, I joined the Guild 36 years ago, shortly after my first “proper” book had been published. It may sound idealistic, but I saw it as a band of outdoor brothers (and sisters!) who could work together for the common good, improving standards and becoming “the voice of outdoor journalism.” I certainly gained a huge amount from the camaraderie and support of members and officers in those early days, and I’ll always be grateful for that.”

Alf Alderson

Alf Alderson

OWPG Member since 1992

“I’ve been a member of the Guild for close on thirty years. The combination of support and back-up from fellow members along with offers of work that have come as a direct result of my membership have been invaluable in developing my career.
And the members I’ve got to know in that time have not just been people who happen to be in the same profession, they’re a damned sound bunch of individuals too!"

Tony Howard

Tony Howard

OWPG Member since 1990 (ish)

"What brought me to the guild was to be part of the outdoor writing community and hopefully to benefit from shared knowledge. Also I felt that having an OWPG Press Pass would not only be useful in gaining entry to travel and outdoor shows and contacting magazine editors and publishers, but would also be a great help in contacting tourism boards and other potential sponsors, in particular for gaining access to parts of the world that could be difficult to reach. All of which happened."

Chiz Dakin

Chiz Dakin

Member since 2007

"Since joining near the beginning of my career and getting to know other writers, photographers and publishers within the guild, a high percentage of my work has come indirectly from the Guild.

It's not usually come via offers to the whole guild, but by getting to know when certain commissions are up for grabs - and importantly, who to ask to find out who to speak to at the client end.

And once I'd built up a good reputation from previous work, recommendations from colleagues also began to come my way too.

A really friendly and helpful bunch too - of which several have become good friends as well as colleagues"

Tony Toole

Tony Toole

Member since 2000

I discovered the Guild simply by googling online. Joining in 2000 was one of the best things I have done. Through writing contracts in the early years, with English Nature and Woodland Trust and a later current one with BBC Countryfile magazine, all coming directly from my membership, I have recouped my annual subscriptions many times over.
Also as a direct result of membership, I have been invited on six press trips abroad, and even while abroad on different occasions, have been able to obtain several free or discounted trips because of my presence on the Guild website. Trips undertaken while on the AGM weekends have also given me inspiration for several articles.
Receiving three Awards for Excellence has boosted my view that I do not conform to the popular image of the 'illiterate scientist.'
I have always found the other members of the Guild to be extremely friendly and supportive.

Jacquetta Megarry

Jacquetta Megarry

Member since 2000-ish

The Guild is a great community to join, where I’ve learned loads, personally and professionally. Belonging to it has been an important part of my life for nearly 20 years. The subscription is great value and I’ve been rewarded many times over by my earnings on Payback which I’d never have found out about without the Guild.

Jon Sparks

Jon Sparks

Member since 1990 (ish)

It's almost impossible in a few words to say what OWPG membership has meant to me. Without it, my career would look very different. Most of the work that's sustained me for more than 20 years has come from contacts made, directly or indirectly, through the Guild.
But that's not all. When I've needed advice, the OWPG hive-mind has nearly always come up trumps, and I've learned a lot through the Guild's professional development programmes too.
I mustn't forget the intangibles; support, community, and inspiration. I haven't just made useful contacts through the Guild, I've made lifelong friends.

Sue Viccars

Sue Viccars

Member since 1990

I was invited to join the Guild back in the days when I was a commissioning editor for outdoor books at David & Charles Publishers – around 30 years ago! I remember at the time thinking that I didn't really qualify – being an editor, rather than a writer – but I was duly persuaded, and I’ve never regretted my decision. Three weeks after going freelance in 2000 I got my first book commission through my Guild contacts, and it’s gone on from there – I’ve just been asked to write a new Dartmoor walking book for a publisher who only knows about me through my connection to the Guild. And I know that if I need help regarding any aspect of ‘life as an outdoor writer’ there’ll be someone ready to lend a willing ear and a spot of advice. It’s just been brilliant!

Tony Bowerman (Northern Eye Books)

Tony Bowerman (Northern Eye Books)

Member since 2012

As members of the OWPG since 2012, Northern Eye Books has benefitted hugely. Almost all our authors are members, and their sheer professionalism, outdoor knowledge, and attention to detail have helped us win several national awards and grow year after year. We couldn’t have done it without them and we’ve made some great friends, too.

Chris Howes

Chris Howes

Member since 1993

When I became a freelance author and photographer, it was a move into the unknown. Joining the OWPG opened the door to a group of friendly, supportive, like-minded people that I could ask for advice at any time. Did it bring me work? Not directly, but I never expected it would – what I gained was a wide range of contacts in the industry, and what I made of this was down to me.

Stan Abbott

Stan Abbott

Member since 1992

I have a great many things to be thankful to the OWPG for. Shortly after joining, I had the opportunity to share an amazing trip to Svalbard with other members. Since then the Guild’s AGM weekends on Jersey and the Isle of Wight have been highlights.
The Guild has ensured I’ve claimed all my secondary rights for copying of my work, amounting to some thousands of pounds over the years. The network of Guild members has been invaluable across the years, helping me, as a commissioning editor, to find the right expertise and, as someone who organises media trips for clients, to make sure I get the right journalists on board. Most recently, a partnership event by the Guild with the Society of Authors enabled me to meet the publisher of my next three books.

David Foster

David Foster

Member since mid-1990

I joined the Guild in the mid-1990s, mainly to enhance my credibility as a new writer. But before long, membership led me to contracts with both the AA and Jarrold (now Crimson) Publishing, ultimately worth tens of thousands of pounds.
Beyond that, I've made many new friends, learned from their experience, and enjoyed two decades of adventures and social contact.

The OWPG Team

The hardworking members of the guild who hold officers posts:

Our members also have access to some unique and very useful special discounts in the outdoors world.

News

Latest news from the guild

Outdoor Focus – Summer 2020

In this issue you can find out the ten most common mistakes made by inexperienced authors – and how to avoid them; meet Kevin Sene, OWPG’s newest member; discover what challenges Tony Howard faced on Read more…

Outdoor Focus | Spring 2020

In this issue of Outdoor Focus you can meet OWPG’s newest members, Paddy Dillon looks back on twenty years of walking and writing, and Felicity Martin describes the benefits of registering for VAT. All this, as well Read more…

Outdoor Focus | Winter 2019

In this issue of Outdoor Focus you can read Wordsmith by Kev Reynolds; Paddy Dillon advises you to think again if you’re wondering whether to give up writing guide books. Roly Smith reviews the latest Read more…

Outdoor Focus | Autumn 2019

In this issue of Outdoor Focus you can read Rob Yorke’s interview with Ben Goldsmith, a non-executive director at DEFRA; Kev Reynolds talks about the didgeridoo with a stranger on a misty hilltop; and Roger Read more…

Get in Touch

Our officers are often out working in the outdoors, so the best method of contact is via the contact-us form.

If an officer is away at the time there may be a short delay in them responding.

Contact Us