Britain’s best maritime writers and filmmakers of 2015 revealed in Maritime Media Awards shortlist


Julian ParkerThe best of British maritime media in 2015 has been revealed in the Maritime Media Awards shortlist which celebrates outstanding contributions from journalists, writers and filmmakers – whose work deepens understanding of Britain’s dependence on the sea.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Maritime Media Awards, which is held annually in memory of former Daily Telegraph naval correspondent Desmond Wettern.

The national event, led by the Maritime Foundation, takes place at the Institute of Directors on Thursday November 12, and includes the coveted Mountbatten Maritime Award for Best Literary contribution. Additional honours will be handed out for Best Journalistic, Best Television or Film and Best Digital Media contributions.

Maritime Foundation and judging panel chairman Julian Parker OBE said the event is now of national significance and this year’s shortlist celebrates another remarkable body of maritime related work from across Britain.

He said: “We are thrilled to be announcing the shortlist for the 2015 Maritime Media Awards, in what is an extra special year as our 20th anniversary. There were a total of 35 books nominated this year and it has been most encouraging to see the breadth of topics covered as well as the scholarship, imagination, imagery and technical detail.

“The subjects ranged from seafarers’ health to the re-evaluation of naval operations in the First World War. Both fact and fiction, text and illustration have combined to create a rich and vibrant collection of maritime books to celebrate in 2015. We believe the shortlist will delight the general reader but it is important to also point out the excellence demonstrated in the specialised topics found in the full collection.

“At our core, the Maritime Foundation is a charity promoting Britain’s interests across the entire maritime sector. Our purpose is to inform and raise public and parliamentary awareness of the importance of Britain’s maritime industries, commerce and defence.

“We aim to do this through education, training and research, as well as through the Maritime Media Awards which will provide an unforgettable night in November. Together we will acknowledge the efforts of journalists, writers and filmmakers whose contributions are essential for ensuring we remain a proud and progressive seafaring nation.”

Titles up for honours include Cutty Sark: The Last of the Tea Clippers by Eric Kentley, The Edge of the World by Michael Pye, Fishers and Plunderers: Theft, Slavery and Violence at Sea by Alistair Couper et al, Nelson’s Victory: 250 Years of War and Peace by Brian Lavery, as well as Sixteen Shipwrecks and the History of the World by Stewart Gordon.

Mr Parker said there have been many notable winners at the Maritime Media Awards across the decades. An early recipient was renowned maritime journalist Michael Grey back in 1998. Captain Richard Woodman was honoured in 2011 for his landmark series of books charting A History of the British Merchant Navy.

Other notable winners have been Professor Nicholas Rogers for his authoritative book The Command of the Ocean and Professor Callum Roberts for his campaigning thesis on Sea of Life. More recently Dan Snow was commended for his outstanding television series Empire of the Seas and Rose George for her illuminating book Deep Sea and Foreign Going.

Last year saw the introduction of a brand new category – the First Sea Lord’s Digital Media Award which was won by the Aircraft Carrier Alliance for its outstanding website. The Maritime Media Awards Judging Committee includes a panel of 17 eminent maritime personalities.

Places are still available for the 2015 Maritime Media Awards and dinner reservation forms can be found by going to or by contacting event organiser Sophie Brown via email