OWPG 2018 Awards for Excellence – winners announced

Published by OWPG Wordsmith on

PRESS RELEASE – 22 October 2018

The Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild (OWPG) has announced the winners of the 2018 Awards for Excellence.

Designed to celebrate outstanding achievement among members, the Awards recognise excellence across six categories: Outdoor Book, Guidebook, Outdoor/Travel Feature, Technical Feature, Digital and Photography.

Viv Crow receiving her OWPG Guidebook Award from Chairman Peter Gillman

Winner of the Outdoor Book category was Back Roads Through Middle England by Andrew Bibby. Judges Mark Whitley and Chris Bagshaw called it “An original concept, well executed. An appealing mix of travel writing and journalistic reportage”. Kev Reynolds bagged the ‘highly commended’ spot with The Mountain Hut Book.

Sponsored by Aquapac International, the Guidebook category featured a good representative selection of guides with several submissions from lesser-known areas. There were three ‘highly commended’ runners up, but Vivienne Crow was the clear winner for Walking in Northumberland.

Vivienne was also awarded top place in the Crimson Publishing-sponsored Outdoor/ Travel Feature category, wowing judges Carlton Reid and Elizabeth Multon with her article for The Great Outdoors: Autumn in the Valleys.

The judges commented: This article sums up how hard it is to be original when writing about the Lake District, but this honesty gives the article an original angle, and allows the author to weave in a history of writers and artists who’ve attempted to capture the essence of the Lakes, alongside other observations on the changing seasons and the impact of human activity on the landscape. Fascinating examples and contemporary quotes add colour and back up points. And all this interwoven with a walk.”

Judy Armstrong’s Riding Lines in the Mountain of the Gods was also highly commended.

This year’s Technical Feature Award was sponsored by Cicerone Press. The winner was Climb the Eiger by Kingsley Jones, which combined history, legend and philosophical musings with a practical, how-to guide.

The Digital Award was sponsored by Cordee and judged by Lois Sparling and Craig Wareham.

The judges commented: “We enjoyed reading all the entries again this year and enjoyed the range, once again, from Rob Yorke’s campaigning (or at least controversial) blog to Jacquetta Megarry’s smart reference tool, from a passionate focus on one geographical area in Wild Essex to inspirational writing covering all the continents, all the seasons and most self-powered outdoor activities in Cicerone Extra. In the end, it was a close call.”

The award went to Jacquetta Megarry for ‘Scotland’s Great Trails’.

As well as having the key digital attributes of being easy to find, quick to load and instinctive to navigate even on a mobile this attractive if unpretentious website is a comprehensive resource for anyone considering tackling one of Scotland’s official long-distance paths,” said the judges.

Chris Howes is presented with the Photography award

Finally, Chris Howes netted the Photography award, sponsored by Conway – an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, for his spectacular portfolio ‘The River Cave of Xe Bang Fai’. The judges, Dave Willis and Ashley Cooper, dubbed it “a clear outright winner”. David Forster also received a highly commended mention for Heather Burning.

OWPG members watch the presentation

The awards ceremony took place at the OWPG’s annual AGM weekend at Simonsbath Hotel in Exmoor.

The full list of awards winners including Highly Commended entries is on our awards page.

Membership of the OWPG is open to professionals involved in the outdoors – visit www.owpg.org.uk to find out more.


Categories: OWPG Awards

OWPG Wordsmith

OWPG Wordsmith

Outdoor Focus Editor