Coronavirus: British Book Awards: Ceremony Postponed, Some Winners Announced

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The British Book Awards, while announcing a coronavirus postponement of its ceremony, name some winners and shortlistees in two categories.

Chepstow Books & Gifts, one of the stores named a finalist in the 2020 British Book Awards. Image: Chepstow Books & Gifts

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

Small Press Winners, Bookstore Finalists
Soldiering on, just later than sooner, The Bookseller’s 2020 British Book Awards, sometimes called the Nibbies, have postponed their ceremony at the Marriott Grosvenor House in London from its originally planned May 18 to June 29, which—as is the program’s custom—is a Monday.

In a prepared statement, Nigel Roby, CEO and publisher of Bookseller Media, is quoted, saying, “We don’t have a crystal ball, but all of us hope fervently that we can get together on June 29 and enjoy the success and resilience of Britain’s leading creative industry.”

Standing at 2,626 cases and 60 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic in the 8:23 a.m. ET (1223 GMT) update to The New York Times‘ comprehensive tracker today (March 19), the UK’s police and public health officials are being given the power to detain potentially infected citizens, according to a new report from Andrew Sparrow and Lucy Campbell at The Guardian.

The British government has published its coronavirus emergency powers bill this morning, offered in two PDFs, the 329-page original document and an edition with explanatory notes. And in a news conference today with the country’s medical officials, it’s been said that getting a vaccine within six months is “improbable”—while in the United States, the government is reported to be looking at contingencies of up to 18 months.

All that taken into account, The Bookseller is announcing finalists and winners in the award program—finalists in the Independent Bookshop group and winners in the Small Press division.

British Book Award 2020 Small Press Winners

In the case of the award for independent publishers, the honor is regionalized to produce nine presses as this year’s winners. This is the second year in which the prize has been offered.

Here, we’ll list for you each shortlist, and the winner in each region is in bold. There are two winners in the London regional group.

There’s an overall winner, chosen from the regionals, and that press is to be announced at the big night on June 29.

East/Southeast

  • Dedalus Limited
  • Strangers Press
  • SRL Publishing Ltd South East
  • UIT Cambridge / Green Books
  • Boiler House Press
  • September Publishing 

Ireland

  • Tramp Press
  • Wordwell Group
  • The Lilliput Press
  • New Island Books
  • Monkey Blue Press

London

  • Boldwood Books
  • Hera Books
  • Henningham Family Press
  • Out-Spoken Press
  • Scallywag Press
  • Penned in the Margins
  • Jacaranda Books Art Music
  • Tiny Owl Publishing

Midlands

  • Butterfly Books Limited
  • Candlestick Press
  • Otter-Barry Books
  • The Pound Project

North England

  • Bluemoose Books
  • Carcanet Press
  • Comma Press
  • Dead Ink
  • Fly on the Wall Press
  • UCLan Publishing
  • Smokestack Books
  • WatAdventure

Scotland

  • Charco Press
  • BHP Comics
  • Little Door Books
  • Sandstone Press Ltd
  • Scotland Street Press

Southwest

  • From You To Me
  • Really Decent Books

Wales

  • Firefly Press
  • Parthian

In a prepared statement, Bookseller editor Philip Jones is quoted, saying, “The nine regional and country winners showcase the best of small press publishing, rich in quality, diverse in output, and broad in reach.

“The best of these publishers are close to their customers, but know how to break-out beyond their core audiences with their smart, agile approaches to the business.”

British Book Award 2020 Independent Bookshop Finalists

Bookmark Spalding

East of England

  • Bookmark Spalding, Spalding
  • Lindum Books, Lincoln
  • The Book Hive, Norwich

Ireland

  • Blessington Book Store, Blessington
  • Philip’s Book Shop, Mallow
  • Woodbine Books, Kilcullen

London

  • BrOOKS, Pinner
  • Burley Fisher Books, Hackney
  • Gay’s the Word, St Pancras
  • Hewson Books: The Kew Bookshop, Kew
  • Housmans, King’s Cross
  • Moon Lane Books, Lewisham
  • Pages of Hackney, Hackney
  • South Kensington Books, South Kensington

Midlands

  • Burway Books, Church Stretton
  • Button & Bear, Shrewsbury
  • Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
  • The Borzoi Bookshop, Stow-on-the-Wold

North England

  • Drake The Bookshop, Stockton-on- Tees
  • Forum Books, Corbridge
  • The Little Ripon Bookshop, Ripon
  • Sam Read Bookseller, Grasmere
  • The Book Corner, Halifax
  • The Grove Bookshop | Ilkley
  • White Rose Book Café, Thirsk

Scotland

  • Far From the Madding Crowd, Linlithgow
  • Lighthouse, Edinburgh
  • The Bookmark, Grantown-on-Spey
  • The Edinburgh Bookshop, Edinburgh
  • The Highland Bookshop, Fort William

Southeast England

  • Coles Books, Bicester
  • Hungerford Bookshop, Hungerford
  • The Margate Bookshop, Margate
  • Mostly Books, Abingdon
  • Mrs Middleton’s Shop and The Rabbit Hole, Freshwater, Isle of Wight
  • The Book Shop, Lee-on-Solent
  • The Bookshop, East Grinstead

Southwest England

  • Falmouth Bookseller, Falmouth
  • Octavia’s Bookshop, Cirencester
  • Padstow Bookseller, Padstow
  • Sarum College Bookshop, Salisbury
  • Storysmith, Bristol
  • The Corsham Bookshop, Corsham
  • White Horse Bookshop, Marlborough
  • Winstone’s Hunting Raven, Frome

Wales

  • Book-ish, Crickhowell
  • The Chepstow Bookshop, Chepstow
  • Cover to Cover, Swansea
  • Griffin Books, Penarth

In a statement about these awards, managing editor Tom Tivnan is quoted, saying, “The independent book shops who have won our regional and country categories are those which have not only survived but thrived in the tough trading conditions of today’s high street.

“There are big differences in terms of the customer bases they serve, but the through-line between them all is that they are suffused with energy, innovation and are true hubs of their communities.”

Burway Books, Church Stretton


More from Publishing Perspectives the coronavirus outbreak is here. More on the British Book Awards is here.

Download your free copy of our Spring Magazine here

In our Spring 2020 Magazine, Publishing Perspectives has interviewed publishers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and authors to present a look at the book business for the coming year. Inside this issue of Publishing Perspectives Magazine, you’ll find articles and resources including:

  • Publishing and the coronavirus
  • Richard Charkin’s view of key industry challenges
  • China’s growing comic book market
  • Brussels Book Fair debuts its rights center
  • Eksmo CEO Evgeny Kapyev on Russia’s book market
  • Matchmaking for publishers and producers in Latin America
  • Book market data
  • A world tour of copyright developments
  • Translation sales resulting from Norway’s Frankfurter Buchmesse guest of honor program
  • An AI startup creating interactive stories
  • An interview with author Andrew Keen

Download ‘Publishing in Times of Crisis’ free of charge 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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