OWPG History

The Outdoor Writers Guild was founded in 1980 by a small group of writers, most of whom were closely involved in writing about outdoor equipment and clothing. Within five years it had expanded hugely, taking in writers who concentrated on the experience rather than the gear, along with a growing number of photographers.

In an attempt to reflect this diversity, the Guild changed its name in 2006 to Outdoor Writers and Photographers Guild and we also adopted the informal strapline ‘Words and Pictures from the Outdoors’. Even this fails to do justice to the breadth of members’ skills.

Today’s membership includes writers, journalists, photographers, illustrators, broadcasters, film-makers, artists, web designers, publishers and editors, but all with the common bond of a passionate interest in the outdoors. The world of publishing and media has changed almost beyond recognition in the 40 years of the Guild’s existence. In 1980 none of us had even heard of a website, let alone run one. Digital cameras, blogs, tweets, apps, GPS, Print on Demand… the Guild and its members have had to get to grips with all of these and more. For that matter, the mountain bike was only just beginning to emerge from its spawning ground in California, snowboarding and kite-surfing were at the experimental stage, and Easyjet did not exist. Who knows what the next 40 years will bring?