The UK’s CrimeFest 2019 Honors Shukla, Lippman, Rowling

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Led by Nikla Shukla’s contemporary story of young people trying to work out corruption in an inner city housing scam, the CrimeFest awards are announced in Bristol.

Image – iStockphoto: Standardizenz

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘Established and New Names’
In its awards ceremony Saturday (May 11), the four-day CrimeFest 2019 convention at Bristol, announced the winners of its six award categories.

Among the most interesting of the winners is Nikesh Shukla, more frequently referred to in connection with issues of diversity in publishing and a writer nominated for a Costa Book Award and a Desmond Elliot honor.

His YA novel, Run, Riot was released in June by Hodder’s youth reading division and is about young people in a politically energized story of corruption in Firestone House, a tower block in London.

Intelligent, serious, timely content for young people, Shukla’s book opens with a teen watching video of an attack on his mentor.

This is not one of the police procedurals that can seem to saturate the book market and streaming television network offerings with a tired parade of quirky cops and detectives brought out of retirement for that one last case—and their beloved but cantakerous partners who could probably be named Sancho Panza.

Shukla’s book is set in a milieu, the book tells us, to which news media are drawn when they want tape of the darker sides of urban life: “All they want to film is the threatening yoots with their hoods up.”

2019 CrimeFest Winners

Crime Novel for Young Adults

This award is for a crime novel for readers classified by the program as being aged 12-16 and first published in the British Isles in 2018.

  • Nikesh Shukla for Run, Riot (Hodder Children’s Books)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults voted on the shortlist and winner.

Audible ‘Sounds of Crime’ Award

The Sounds of Crime Award is for an unabridged crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2018 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from Audible UK, the prize’s sponsor. The winning author and audiobook reader(s) share the £1,000 prize equally (US$1,299) and each receives a Bristol Blue Glass commemorative award.

  • The winner is Jo Rowling, publishing in her widely known adult-content pen name Robert Galbraith, for Lethal White, read by Robert Glenister (Hachette Audio)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and Audible UK listeners established the shortlist and the winning title.

eDunnit Award

The eDunnit Award is for a crime fiction ebook first published in both hardcopy and in electronic format in the British Isles in 2018.

  • Laura Lippman for Sunburn (Faber and Faber)

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and a team of British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.

Last Laugh Award

The Last Laugh Award is for a humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2018.

This is not the Blake Edwards and William Blatty 1964 masterpiece A Shot in the Dark  with Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, of course.

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and British crime fiction reviewers voted to create the list and choose the winner.

H.R.F. Keating Award

This award is for a biographical or critical book related to crime fiction first published in the British Isles in 2018. The award is named for the late “Harry” Keating (1926-2011), one of Britain’s best known crime reviewers and a writer of books about crime fiction.

This award is for a biographical or critical book related to crime fiction first published in the British Isles in 2018. The award is named for the late “Harry” Keating (1926-2011), one of Britain’s best known crime reviewers and a writer of books about crime fiction.

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and British crime fiction reviewers voted on the shortlist and winner.

Crime Novel for Children

This award is for a crime novel for children (aged 8-12) first published in the British Isles in 2018.

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults voted  on the shortlist and winner.

‘Consistently High Standards’

In a prepared statement, a co-host of the event, Adrian Muller, is quoted, saying, “It’s always a pleasure to see who our judges select as our award winners, and we’re thrilled by this year’s eclectic mix of established and new names.

“The recipients reinforce the consistently high standards of the work that the CrimeFest awards recognize, while introducing readers to … new names.”

Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, and reviewers of fiction for children and young adults voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.

The complete shortlist was carried in our coverage last month here.

SpecSavers is the sponsor of the convention itself, which was expected to draw some 500 attendees.

Crime fiction generally has been rated the most popular fiction genre in the UK market since 2017 when, as was reported by Laura Harding of the Press Association and others a year ago. Nielsen BookScan data then indicated that the category’s sales had for the first time surpassed those of general and literary fiction.


More from Publishing Perspectives on publishing and book awards programs is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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