A non-fiction book has won the Kindle Storyteller UK Award for the first time with the £20,000 cash prize for 2020 going to Anna McNuff’s Llama Drama, the story of a cycling adventure through South America. The Gloucester-based writer also gets a dedicated marketing campaign on Amazon.co.uk and the prestigious Golden Kindle award.
The self-published true story of a 5,500-mile cycling odyssey through South America was chosen from a record number of entries for the fourth year of the Kindle Storyteller UK Award.
The travelogue is the fourth book from athlete, adventurer and author Anna McNuff, who has also written books about running the length of New Zealand and cycling through every state in the US.
Llama Drama follows the author and her friend Faye on a six-month journey along the spine of the Andes, the longest continental mountain range in the world. With a limited grasp of Spanish, and the hope of meeting as many llamas as possible, the two friends have a spectacular adventure that takes them through jungle, across salt flats and past volcanoes.
The judges chose the winning book from a shortlist selected with significant input from readers, with reviews and ratings taken into account. The judging panel included TV presenter and author Claudia Winkleman, best-selling self-published authors L J Ross and Mark Dawson, last year’s Kindle Storyteller Award winner Ian W Sainsbury, Sacha Black from the Alliance of Independent Authors and, from Amazon, EU Books Director Simon Johnson and UK Books Editor Jen Barrett.
Anna McNuff received the award in a virtual ceremony and says, ‘I’m just in shock, this is the best early Christmas present. I’m so honoured to win. The other shortlisted books were amazing. Some of the best things in life have come from spontaneous moments and that’s the reason I started self-publishing on Kindle Direct Publishing. It’s brought me to this place in time. I can’t wait to go on my next adventure.’
Praise for the winning title:
Anna McNuff’s Llama Drama is simply hilarious. If anyone is watching and wants something witty and moving at the same time. Also, something empowering then this is the one for them. I literally inhaled it.’ — Claudia Winkleman
‘Absorbing. Great storytelling.’ — L J Ross
‘Evocative and beautiful writing with hilarious laugh-out-loud moments.’ — Mark Dawson
I could, of course, say I told you so, as, at the end of an article about the Storyteller shortlist, I wrote that I had a hunch that Llama Drama might turn out to be the book for this year.
The Kindle Storyteller Award is in its fourth year in the UK and was established to recognise newly published work in the English language across any genre. The prize was open to all authors who published their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk between May and August 2020.
Simon Johnson, Director of EU Books at Amazon, who chaired the judging panel, says: ‘The standard of entries this year was incredibly high and all the shortlisted titles were worthy of the nomination. The storytelling and characterisation of Anna McNuff’s travelogue transported us to South America and earned its place as the first-ever non-fiction winner of the Kindle Storyteller Award.’