Banff Mountain Book Competition

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The 2017 Book Competition is now closed.

Entry deadline: June 30, 2017.

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, bringing together filmmakers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, athletes, adventurers, and - of course - readers.  Featuring film screenings, guest speakers, readings, seminars and book signings, the Festival offers a wide spectrum of experiences for the mountain film and book-loving audience.

As a key program of The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival, the Book Competition is an internationally recognized literary competition that celebrates mountain literature in all its forms.  Over $16,000 in cash is awarded annually with 8 awards selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers and editors.  The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize is announced in October every year.  In 2017, the Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, November 2 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

Questions? Call the Banff Mountain Book Competition at: 403.762.6347

or email:

2017 Book Competition Rules & Regulations (for reference only)

Deadline to enter: June 30, 2017

Book Competition Categories

Prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:
(Please note: books written primarily for children and young adults are not suitable for this competition.)

Adventure Travel

Non-fiction books with a theme of travel to, and exploration of, remote and/or rugged landscapes and their cultures. 

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

Includes fiction and poetry books with a focus on mountain topics. Creative narratives about climbing and mountaineering, exploration and mountain culture are acceptable. 

Mountain Guidebooks

Non-fiction books dealing with physical activities in mountain environments; including hiking, climbing, mountaineering and "how-to" books. 

Mountain Image

Includes books with a primary focus on mountain images and with text in a subordinate role. Images may include photographs or reproductions of artwork. 

Mountaineering Article

Articles or short form essays with mountaineering, climbing or mountain adventure themes under 7,000 words. Articles may be fiction, historical or non-fiction narratives and are invited to be submitted by publishers and editors of print publications, not by individual authors. Articles must have been printed within the last two years to qualify for submission. Scholastic, research or scientific articles will not be accepted. Please email us for more information on submission guidelines. 

View FAQ for more information (pdf)

NEW FOR 2017: Mountain Environment & Natural History

Books that pertain to the mountain environment, specifically related to flora, fauna, geology and wildlife.  Scholastic, research or scientific articles will not be accepted.

Mountain Literature

Includes non-fiction books, such as memoirs, biographies and narratives on mountaineering, climbing history, mountain exploration, mountain culture, and human experiences of any kind in the mountain wilderness.

Grand Prize

Awarded to a book chosen from the winners in the above categories.

2016 Category Finalists

2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition – Category Finalists

We are pleased to announce the longlist of category finalists listed alphabetically by title in each award category:

Adventure Travel
$2000 - Sponsored by Banff Gondola

Across the Arctic Ocean: Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey
Sir Wally Herbert & Huw Lewis-Jones, Thames & Hudson (USA, 2015)

Braving It: A Father, a Daughter, and an Unforgettable Journey into the Alaskan Wild
James Campbell, Crown Publishers (USA, 2016)

Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir
Jean McNeil, ECW Press (CAN, 2016)

The Shark and the Albatross
John Aitchison, Greystone Books (CAN, 2016)

Walking Man: The Secret Life of Colin Fletcher
Robert Wehrman, Pacific Star Publications (USA, 2016)

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

$2000 – Sponsored by Fjällräven

The Broom of God
John Bragg, Backroad Press (USA, 2015)

Jimmy Bluefeather
Kim Heacox, Alaska Northwest Books (USA, 2015)

Martin Marten: A Novel
Brian Doyle, Thomas Dunne Books & St. Martin's Press (USA, 2015)

No Map Could Show Them
Helen Mort, Penguin Group (UK, 2016)

Mountain & Wilderness Literature – Non-Fiction

$2000 - Sponsored by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

The 9th Grade: 150 Years of Free Climbing
David Chambre, Les éditions du Mont-Blanc (FRA, 2015)

The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies
Brandon Pullan, Rocky Mountain Books Ltd (CAN, 2016)

The Bond
Simon McCartney, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2016)

Heart Waters: Sources of the Bow River
Kevin van Tighem, Rocky Mountain Books Ltd (CAN, 2015)

Rock Queen
Catherine Destivelle, Hayloft Publishing Ltd (UK, 2015)

Sixty Meters to Anywhere
Brendan Leonard, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2016)

Wolf Spirit: A Story of Healing, Wolves and Wonder
Gudrun Pflüger, Rocky Mountain Books Ltd (CAN, 2015)

Mountain Image

$2000 – Sponsored by Lake O'Hara Lodge

Claes Grundsten, Nya Vyer (SWE, 2015)

Samuel Bitton, Samuel Bitton Photography (CHE, 2015)

Yosemite in the Fifties
Dean Fidelman, Patagonia Books (USA, 2015)


$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

1001 Climbing Tips
Andy Kirkpatrick, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2016)

A Comprehensive Guide to Bouldering in Lofoten
Jonas Paulsson, High & Low Publishing (SWE, 2016)

Vancouver Rock Climbing
Richard Wheater, Quickdraw Publications (CAN, 2016)

Mountaineering Article

$2000 – Sponsored by Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative, University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

The Black Heart of That Monster
David Roberts, Ascent (USA, May 2016)

Journey to the Centre
Margo Talbot, Canadian Rockies Annual (CAN, May 2016)

Notes from the Frontier
Maya Prabhu, Alpinist (USA, May 2016)

Searching for Superman
Jeff Long, Ascent (USA, May 2016)

Stealing Toni Egger
Ed Douglas, Rock and Ice Magazine (USA, August 2015)

Mountaineering History

$2000 – Sponsored by Sherpa Adventure Gear

All titles that are shortlisted in the categories above that have a theme of mountaineering history are eligible for this award.

Grand Prize – The Phyllis and Don Munday Award
$4000 – Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada

The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize will be announced in mid-October.
The Grand Prize will be announced Thursday, November 3, 2016 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.