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Manilla to publish Dom Phillips’ book, as project honouring the journalist’s work awarded 2023 Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant

In 2025, Manilla Press, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK, will publish How to Save the Amazon: Ask the People Who Know, a book celebrating the diversity of the Amazon and campaigning for its preservation by asking the peoples who live there what to do.

It will offer hopeful solutions for conserving this incredible ecosystem – the lungs of our planet. 

The book is also a tribute to Dom Phillips, the author of the project, who was tragically killed alongside the indigenous expert Bruno Pereira on 5 June 2022 while researching the book. Recognizing the significance of this project, leading writers and environmentalists covering the Amazon have come together to finish it, honouring Phillips’ vision and insisting that journalists will not be silenced. This project speaks not only to the threatened territory of the Amazon but the vulnerable territory of freedom of speech.

Their work has been recognized by the Whiting Foundation with the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant, awarded on 6 December 2023: the first time in its history that a collaborative project has been acknowledged in this way.

World rights for the book were bought by Manilla Press from Rebecca Carter, Phillips’ agent, and now the agent of his literary estate. 

Dom Phillips was a highly experienced British freelance journalist based in Brazil. He moved there in 2007 and wrote extensively for British and American newspapers and other media. In 2021 Dom was awarded a fellowship by the Alicia Patterson Foundation – the US’s oldest journalism fellowship – for the ‘How to Save the Amazon’ project, and was also made the 2021 Cissy Patterson Environmental Fellow. His work was included by Greenpeace’s Unearthed in its selection of Best Environmental Journalism, and he was a regular contributor to the Guardian and wrote for other UK press.

Editorial manager Justine Taylor said: ‘We were thrilled to acquire Dom’s book and received dispatches from the Amazon as and when he could write them, and we could see the important book this was shaping up to be – immersing us in this incredible landscape, highlighting to us the work done by the peoples who live there, offering us new ways in which we can help restore this vital ecosystem. It was such a shock to learn of Dom’s and Bruno’s deaths – and an immeasurable loss for their families – but we are so glad and proud that Dom’s work will be continued by Jonathan Watts and his team of contributors.’ 

The judges of the Whiting Creative Nonfiction Grant commented: “Dom Phillips’ reporting on ecological depredations in the Amazon, completed before his murder in the field, demonstrates impressive levels of access and a deep moral curiosity. It’s rare to encounter travel writing that truly shows the reader something they haven’t seen before; the sense of discovery—and, inevitably, peril—is palpable.”

How to Save the Amazon: Ask the People Who Know will be published by Manilla Press in April 2025 in HB, TPB, ebook and audiobook as a lead publication.