The ‘Nibbies’: The British Book Awards Name Their 2022 Winners

In News by Porter Anderson

The ‘Book of the Year’ series of 14 content-related British Book Awards includes work from many familiar publishers.

At the British Book Awards, the ‘Nibbies,’ on May 23 at the Grosvenor House in London. Image: The British Book Awards video

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

Philip Jones: ‘The Breadth and Power of Publishing’
In its annual awards ceremony Monday evening (May 23), the British Book Awards named Marcus Rashford with Carl Anka the winners of the overall Book of the Year category for the children’s book You are a Champion.

In addition, Marian Keyes was named Author of the Year, and Dapo Adeola was named Illustrator of the Year, as the show—also known as the Nibbies—returned to its pre-COVID-19 venue, London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House. There, the program has the space and production framework to stage itself with the laser-light glitz and noise its fans enjoy.

The United Kingdom is the international book business’ leader in book and publishing awards—both in number of awards programs and in enthusiasm for them. This program, owned and ably produced each year by The Bookseller, this year has 31 categories, 14 of them content-related and 17 of them industry honors.

You’re able to see this, thanks to a good-quality digital stream of the proceedings, which we’ve embedded for you below.

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the British Book Awards in 2017 were bought by The Bookseller, then under Nigel Roby’s leadership, from the estate of Publishing News’ founder, Fred Newman. Their reappearance that year ended a 13-year hiatus and the Nibbies have been a station of the cross on the British awards pilgrimage each year since.

Philip Jones

In his role as chair of the British Book Awards judges, Bookseller editor Philip Jones is quoted, saying, From the advocacy of Marcus Rashford and Dapo Adeolo, to the artistry of Caleb Azumah Nelson, Jade LB and Meg Mason, to the storytelling of Billy Connolly, Marian Keyes, Ian Rankin, and Cressida Cowell, to the history as told by Paul McCartney, Clare Chambers, Phil Earle, and Sathnam Sanghera, this year’s British Book Awards winners show the remarkable breadth and power of publishing today at a moment when the book—and those who make them—delivered.”

We have updated this story (June 5) with that the program’s list of trade industry winners, following the more public-facing “Book of the Year” prizes.

‘Book of the Year’ 2022 British Book Awards
  • Fiction: Meg Mason, Sorrow and Bliss (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion)
  • Fiction Debut: Caleb Azumah Nelson, Open Water (Penguin General, Viking)
  • Nonfiction Lifestyle: Paul McCartney, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present (Penguin Press, Allen Lane)
  • Nonfiction Narrative: Sathnam Sanghera, Empireland (Penguin General, Viking)
  • Children’s Fiction: Phil Earle, When The Sky Falls (Andersen Press)
  • Children’s Nonfiction: Marcus Rashford with Carl Anka, You are a Champion (Macmillan Children’s Books)
  • Children’s Illustrated: Dapo Adeola and 18 illustrators, Hey You! (Penguin Random House, Puffin)
  • Discover: Jade LB, Keisha the Sket (#MerkyBooks)
  • Crime and Thriller: William McIlvanney and Ian Rankin, The Dark Remains (Canongate)
  • Page-Turner: Clare Chambers, Small Pleasures (Orion, Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
  • Audiobook: Fiction Cressida Cowell, Narrator: David Tennant, The Wizards of Once: Never and Forever (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Audiobook: Nonfiction, Billy Connolly, Windswept and Interesting  (Two Roads, John Murray Press)
British Book Awards 2022 Trade Winners

Less discussed than the “Book of the Year” content awards above are the annual trade awards presented by the Nibbies. Indeed, these may be of the most interest to our trade readership here at Publishing Perspectives.

  • Small Press of the Year: Vertebrate Publishing (we have a piece from 2018 on an interesting move this house was making relative to the gender gap in outdoor adventure litereature)
  • Independent Bookshop of the Year and Children’s Bookseller of the Year: The Bookery, in Crediton, Devon
  • Children’s Publisher of the Year: Knights Of
  • Marketing Strategy of the Year: Alexia Thomaidis and Zoe Coxon, for Open Water, Penguin General
  • Book Retailer of the Year: (we have an interview with founder Andy Hunter from January)
  • Publicity Campaign of the Year: Drew Jerrison, Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters, Profile Books
  • Editor of the Year: Alexandra Pringle, Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Individual  Bookseller of the Year: Kerry Gilmartin, Waterstones
  • Literary Agent of the Year: Becky Thomas, Lewinsohn Literary Agency
  • Designer of the Year: Micaela Alcaino
  • Export: Thames & Hudson
  • Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year: Jessica Kingsley Publishers
  • Rights Professional of the Year: Jessica Neale
  • Imprint of the Year: Viper Books/Profile Books
  • Independent Publisher of the Year: Pushkin Press
  • Publisher of the Year: Simon & Schuster
  • Freedom To Publish: HarperCollins and Arabella Pike (this is the first Freedom To Publish Award from the program; more on the topic is here)

Full lists of winners in both ranks, trade and “book of the year,” are here.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 96th awards report published in the 98 days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

More on the British Book Awards is here. More from us on publishing and book awards in general is here. And more on the UK book market and industry is here.

Porter Anderson is a former associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing 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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.