Wilbur Smith

We’ve been lucky recently to be generously supported by the the Wilbur and Niso Smith foundation.

The foundation does some wonderful work around the world. Starting in September 2015, the Foundation is a charitable organisation dedicated to empowering young writers, the advancement of the adventure writing genre and the promotion of literacy. It was started by author Wilbur Smith with his wife Niso.

Wilbur Smith was born in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), in 1933. He spent his early years on his father’s ranch and was then sent to boarding school in South Africa. Almost at once he began to learn the writer’s craft—starting the school newspaper and contributing most of its content. Wilbur later studied commerce at Rhodes University, and initially worked as an accountant. Soon he began writing short stories in his spare time and quickly moved on to novels. Since the success of his first novel When the Lion Feeds in 1964 he has written 38 novels, and his work is translated into 32 languages. Niso Smith was born in Tajikistan, Central Asia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989, Niso moved to Moscow, where she studied law at the Moscow Law Academy. She and Wilbur married in 2000 and since 2005 Niso has been Managing Director of the Wilbur Smith Enterpise.

The Wilbur & Niso Smith Foundation has recently established a couple of brilliant prizes: The Author of Tomorrow Award is designed to find the adventure writers of the future. Run in partnership with a number of non-governmental organisations dedicated to improving global literacy levels, it is open to anyone aged between twelve and twenty-one who has completed a short piece of adventure writing in English. And The Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize is an annual award for adventure writing. The winner of the prize for a published novel will receive £10 000. The winner of the prize for an unpublished manuscript will be offered a creative writing residency at a prestigious university and career guidance from Wilbur’s literary agents at Tibor Jones & Associates.

There is plenty more information on the Foundation’s website.

Benefitting from their generosity Give a Book recently sent many copies of Wilbur Smith’s books to Prison Reading Groups  and other projects around the country. We are all most grateful for this support.








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