WILD Writing Award

Collaborative Conservation Agreements 

“For a meaningful and significant body of publications and other work that protects wilderness, honors the spirit of wild nature, and recognizes the needs of human communities.”

A lifetime achievement award was created as a collaborative project between The WILD Foundation, Fulcrum Publishing, and the International League of Conservation Writers in 2005 at the 8th World Wilderness Congress in Anchorage, Alaska. This biannual award for lifetime achievement is in recognition of a living author’s published body of work relating to meaningful and significant writing about wild nature, the environment, or the land. Published writers from anywhere in the world are eligible. Nominations are required to be in English, but the body of work does not need to be in English. It has been awarded to John Haines (Alaska, 2005), Bittu Sahgal (India, 2007), Ian McCallum (South Africa, 2009), Michael Frome (USA, 2011), and Joaquín Araujo (Spain, 2013).

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John Haines

John Haines(Alaska, 2005), the first recipient of the WILD Writing Award, is a former poet laureate of Alaska and author of such outstanding works such as The Owl in the Mask of the Dreamer (1993); The Stars, the Snow, the Fire: Twenty-five Years in the Northern Wilderness (1989); and many more.


Bittu Sahgal

The second recipient of The Wilderness Writing Award, presented in April 2007 is Bittu Sahgal of Mumbai, India. Bittu is founder and president of Sanctuary Asia, a tireless, life-long advocate for respecting and protecting wild nature and right human relations…and, of course, a superb writer and communicator. Read Bittu’s article in the International Journal of Wilderness at the time of receiving The WILD Writing Award.

Dr. Ian McCallum

The third award was given to Dr. Ian  McCallum at WILD9, the 9th World Wilderness Congress (Mexico, 2009) for his book Ecological Intelligence.  McCallum’s resume runs deep with experience — he is a medical doctor, Jungian psychologist, wilderness guide, and founder of the Wilderness Leadership School in the Cape of Good Hope. He is the author of the novel Thorns to Kilimanjaro and a poetry collection, Wild Gifts. In the 1970s he played fullback for Springbok, South Africa’s national union rugby team.

Michael Frome

The 2011 Wilderness Writing Award was granted to Michael Frome; a passionate protector of America’s National Parks and a prolific conservation writer. Michael has written nearly 20 books, including Strangers in High Places: The Story of the Great Smoky Mountains, Regreening the National Parks, Green Ink,and Rebel on the Road: And Why I was Never Neutral. Read more about Michael!

Joaquín Araujo

At WILD10 (October 2013), Joaquín Araujo of Spain was given the fifth Wilderness Writing Award for “a significant body of writing that protects wilderness, honors the spirit of wild nature, and recognizes the needs of human communities.” Araujo writes and directs nature documentary films and has written numerous books and articles.