Ayesha Harruna Atta

Ayesha Harruna Attah’s The Deep Blue Between is on the longlist of the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Awards 2021 announced today, May 6, 2021.

The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize, first awarded in 2016, is an international prize that supports and celebrates the best adventure writing today. The prize named after South African novelist Wilbur Smith and open to writers of any nationality, writing in English, is a production of the Wilbur and Niso Smith Foundation. Smith’s work specialises in historical fiction about the international involvement in Southern Africa across four centuries, seen from the viewpoints of both black and white families.

The longlist for the awards has been revealed by the organisers and there are twelve books from around the English-speaking world in the running. Taking the role of judges is Jon Coates, Dwayne Fields, and Pip Stewart; this year the public will also get an opportunity to vote on the best book.

Niso Smith, Founder of The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation, commented; ‘Books are a lifeline for many people and have been more so than ever over the past year. While we have not been able to travel, to experience other places and cultures, to meet the people who make our world so colourful, we have relied on books to take us there. This longlist truly has an adventure for everyone.’

There is one writer of African descent Ayesha Harruna Attah on the longlist. The book The Deep Blue Between has been described as “a teen feminist epic of love, courage and determination, as twin sisters try to find each other again in 19th-century West Africa and Brazil.”

Ayesha Harruna Attah on being put on the longlist said, “As a child growing up in Ghana, I yearned for adventure. Reading books sent me rafting on rivers I’d never seen, scaling impossible mountains, and around the world. And now, to be longlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Prize … I’m humbled and deeply honored!”

The shortlist for the prize will be announced on May 20 before the winner is unveiled on September 8, 2021.

Listen to Ayesha on our literary podcast below;