Anita Sethi was born in Manchester, UK and is an award-winning writer and journalist. She is the author of the acclaimed book I Belong Here: a Journey Along the Backbone of Britain which won a Books Are My Bag award, was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing and the Great Outdoors Award. She is also recipient of a Royal Society of Literature, Literature Matters Award and a Judge of the Women’s Prize 2022.
I Belong Here has been acclaimed as a “thing of beauty” by the Sunday Times, “a memoir of rare power” by the Guardian, and “an amazing odyssey: inspiring, powerful, encouraging and incredibly brave” by the Independent. It was selected as Stanfords Book of the Month, chosen as a Hottest Book of the Year by the Guardian and one of the best travel books by Wanderlust and the Telegraph. It was selected as the Best Travelogue of the Year by the Independent.
She has also been published in the anthologies Women on Nature edited by Katharine Norbury, The Wild Isles, Common People, the Seasons nature writing anthology, Seaside Special: Postcards from the Edge, We Mark Your Memory and Solstice Shorts among others.
She has written columns, features and reviews for national and international newspapers and magazines including the Guardian and Observer, the i paper, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph, FT, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, BBC Wildlife, Vogue, New Statesman, Granta, Harpers Bazaar, Times Literary Supplement, Stylist and BBC Travel among others.
In broadcasting she has appeared on several channels including BBC Radios 2, 3, 4 and 5, the BBC World Service, ITV, Times Radio, Sky News, and ABC Australia. Programmes she has written for, presented for or appeared as a speaker/panellist on include The Essay, Front Row, The Today Programme, The Verb, The Midnight Debate and more.
She was a finalist for Writer of the Year at the Northern Soul Awards and Journalist of the Year at the Asian Media Awards.
She has appeared as a speaker at many venues including Southbank Centre, Edinburgh International Book Festival, Latitude Festival, Green Man Festival, Manchester Literature Festival, Ideas Festival, the British Library, RichMix, Foyles, Daunts, among others, and at many bookshops. She has participated in festivals around the world including in Trinidad & Tobago, Kerala, Nairobi, the Maldives, and Melbourne, Australia, where she was an International Writer in Residence and Ambassador for Journalism at the Emerging Writers Festival and a writing fellow at the Wheeler Centre of Books, Writing and Ideas.
She is Judge of the Women’s Prize 2022 and has also been a Judge of the British Book Awards, Costa Book Awards, Society of Authors Awards, David Cohen Prize for Literature, and is an Academician in the Folio Academy of the Rathbones Folio Prize.
She has interviewed leading writers, musicians, artists, politicians and public figures including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Zadie Smith, Billy Bragg, Louis de Bernieres, Anne Michaels, Vikram Seth, Ian Rankin, Paul Theroux, Tracey Thorn, Julian Cope, Michael Nyman, Antonio Carluccio and Harriet Harman and has worked as a columnist, critic and feature writer. Her career highlights including going birdwatching with Margaret Atwood in the UK’s oldest nature reserve.
In 2022 she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Writer-in-Residence at the Manchester Museum.