British Book Awards: Trade and ‘Book of the Year’ Shortlists

In News by Porter Anderson

The British Book Awards contenders for Book Trade and Book of the Year are announced, with the shortlists consisting of 29 categories.

North Lincolnshire’s The Rabbit Hole is one of eight bookstores up for a Book Trade honor for Independent Bookshop in the British Book Awards this year. Image: The Bookseller

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

Winners’ Ceremony: May 15
As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the British Book Awards are not all “book awards.” For the purposes of our international professional readership, the Book Trade Awards are actually more pertinent, as we’re a news medium serving the world industry rather than its consumers.

Today (March 21), in listing these shortlistees for our subscribers, we’ll start with the Book Trade Award shortlists, and then follow with the Books of the Year shortlists. You’ll remember we wrote last month about some of the many jurors chosen to handle this very big round of prizes on the Books of the Year side that customers rightly enjoy.

To refresh your memory, the British Book Awards—sometimes called the Nibbies, as the logo reminds us—are a brand of The Bookseller, the United Kingdom’s news medium of record for the publishing industry. These awards are correspondingly comprehensive.

This year’s awards program is set for May 15, again at the Grosvenor House in London, and it’s to be seen both in-person there and in a stream, as was done very nimbly last year. The Bookseller’s efforts in streaming its events such as this and The FutureBook have been standouts in the international book business, often flanked by far less felicitous efforts in “Cyberia,” as Douglas Rushkoff’s 1994 book from HarperCollins called it.

Philip Jones

Amid our necessarily broad coverage of book and publishing competitions in so many parts of the world (more than 200 stories last year), it can be hard at times to distinguish one from another. Quickly, then, to refresh your memory, in January 2016, Bookseller editor Philip Jones announced the acquisition of the Nibbies from the estate of Publishing News founder Fred Newman.

In 2017, when these awards were presented at Grosvenor House, the program reunited the Industry Awards and the Book of the Year awards under the one British Book Awards banner. And in their evolved state—since being revived by the former owner Nigel Roby’s purchase of the brand for The Bookseller—the British Book Awards have been expanded to embrace a broader cross section of both the business and the literature of the UK publishing market.

While the two Booker Prizes are the most internationally famous literary fiction and translation awards based in the United Kingdom, the British Book Awards are the most broadly followed program commending both content and industry achievement in the British market.

British Book Award Shortlists:
Book Trade Awards of the Year

Small Press Winners
Sponsor: CPI Books

In this category, regional and country winners are preliminarily chosen. An ultimate winner comes from those.

  • SRL Publishing, East England
  • New Island Books, Ireland
  • Boldwood Books, London (joint winner)
  • Fitzcarraldo Editions, London (joint winner)
  • Sweet Cherry Publishing, Midlands
  • BluemooseBooks, North England
  • Scottish Mountaineering Press, Scotland
  • David Fickling Books, Southeast England
  • Little Toller Books, Southwest England
  • Firefly Press, Wales

Independent Bookshop
Sponsor: Gardners

As with small presses, regional and country winners, preliminarily chosen, lead to an ultimate winner.

  • Niche Comics & Bookshop, East England
  • Halfway Up the Stairs, Ireland
  • Nomad Books, London
  • The Rabbit Hole, Midlands
  • Forum Books, North England
  • The Edinburgh Bookshop, Scotland
  • Mostly Books, Southeast England
  • Storysmith, Southwest England
  • Griffin Books Wales

Children’s Publisher

  • David Fickling Books
  • Farshore
  • Hachette Children’s Group
  • Nosy Crow
  • Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
  • Sweet Cherry Publishing

Children’s Bookseller
Sponsor: Macmillan Children’s Books

  • Bookbugs & Dragon Tales
  • Books2Door
  • The Children’s Bookshop
  • Halfway Up the Stairs
  • Round Table Books
  • The Book Nook
  • The Edinburgh Bookshop
  • Waterstones

Marketing Strategy
Sponsor: Nielsen BookData

  • Hannah Marshall, You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi, Faber
  • Kristina Hill and Beth McWilliams, Heartstopper by Alice Oseman, Hodder Children’s Books
  • Sarah Shea, Abbie Salter and Olivia French, How to Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie, The Borough Press
  • Dawn Burnett, Menopausing by Davina McCall and Naomi Potter, HQ
  • Celeste Ward-Best and Emily Moran, Love Marriage by Monica Ali, Virago
  • Sarah Jeffcoate and Genevieve Barratt, It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover, Simon & Schuster
  • Vicky Palmer and Lilly Cox, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, Doubleday
  • Annie Moore, Rose Poole, and Amelia Fairney, The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

Book Retailer
Sponsor: Simon & Schuster

  • Books2Door
  • Monwell
  • Waterstones
  • WHSmith High Street
  • WHSmith Travel

Publicity Campaign
Sponsor: Publishers’ Publicity Circle

  • Etty Eastwood, The Story of Art Without Men by Katy Hessel, Cornerstone
  • Susanna Peden, Babel: An Arcane History by RF Kuang, HarperFiction
  • Emily Marples, As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh, Bloomsbury Children’s Books
  • Haley Camis and Zoe Hood, Love Marriage by Monica Ali, Virago
  • Virginia Woolstencroft, Murder Before Evensong by Rev. Richard Coles, Orion
  • Ciara Berry, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith, Penguin Random House / Michael Joseph
  • Alison Barrow, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus, TransWorld
  • Kirsten Cozens, Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell, Walker Books

Sponsor: YMU

  • Bella Pagan, Tor, Pan Macmillan
  • Eleanor Russell, Piatkus Constable Roginson, Little, Brown Book Group
  • Jasmine Richards, StoryMix
  • Molly Crawford, Simon & Schuster
  • Natasha Bardon, HarperVoyager, HarperCollins Publishers
  • Rachel Wade, Hachette Children’s Group
  • Shadi Doostdar, Rock the Boat, OneWorld
  • Susannah Otter, Blink, Bonnier Books UK

Individual Bookseller
Sponsor: Penguin Random House

  • Aude Bolechala, Nomad Books
  • Carolynn Bain, Afrori Books
  • Gráinne O’Brien, O’Mahony’s Booksellers
  • Helen Tamblyn-Saville, Wonderland Bookshop
  • John Avery, Waterstones
  • Megan Rees, Book-ish
  • Nayya Raza, Bookhaus
  • Sophie Pitches, The Bound

Literary Agent
Sponsor: London Book Fair

  • Abi Fellows, Good Literary Agency
  • Amanda Harris, YMU Literary
  • Anwen Hooson, Bird Literary Agency
  • Claire Wilson, RCW Literary Agency
  • Ella Diamond Kahn, Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency
  • Felicity Blunt, Curtis Brown Group
  • Jane Graham Maw, Graham Maw Christie
  • Laura Macdougall, United Agents


  • Bekki Guyatt, Little Brown Book Group
  • Charlotte Abrams-Simpson, Orion
  • Jasmine Aurora, Moonflower Publishing
  • Jo Thomson, Fourth Estate and William Collins
  • Luke Bird, freelance
  • Mark Ecob, freelance
  • Nico Taylor, Little, Brown Book Group
  • Suzanne Dean, Vintage

The British Book Award for Export
Sponsor: Times Publishing Group/Pansing

  • Atlantic Books
  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Bonnier Books UK
  • Canongate Books
  • DK
  • HarperCollins
  • PanMacmillan
  • Simon & Schuster

Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year
Sponsor: Publishers Association

  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • Class Publishing
  • Edinburgh University Press
  • Emerald Publishing
  • PG Online
  • Princeton University Press

Rights Professional
Sponsor: Sharjah Book Authority

  • Alexandra Cliff, Rachel Mills Literary
  • Alice Latham Atlantic Books
  • Carine Delagrave, Magic Cat Publishing
  • Jemma McDonagh, Marsh Agency
  • Joséphine Seblon, Thames & Hudson
  • Richard King, Bookouture

Sponsor: Clays

  • Blink Publishing, Bonnier Books UK
  • Bookouture, Hachette
  • Doubleday, TransWorld
  • Electric Monkey, Farshore
  • HarperVoyager, HarperCollins
  • HQ, HarperCollins

Independent Publisher
Sponsor: Firsty Group, Glassboxx

  • Canongate
  • Faber
  • Hardie Grant Publishing
  • Harriman House
  • Joffe Books
  • Nosy Crow
  • The Folio Society

Sponsor: International Literary Properties

  • Bloomsbury Publishing
  • DK
  • HarperCollins
  • Headline Publishing Group
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Orion Publishing Group
  • Usborne
  • Simon & Schuster

The team from The Bookery in Crediton, Devon, are called to the stage, named Iwinner of both the Independent Bookshop of the Year and Children’s Bookseller of the Year in the 2022 British Book Awards. Image: From the stream, The Bookseller

British Book Award Shortlists: Books of the Year

Partner: Good Housekeeping

  • Love Marriage by Monica Ali (Virago, Little, Brown)
  • Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes (Mantle, Pan Macmillan)
  • Fairy Tale by Stephen King (Hodder & Stoughton, Hachette)
  • Babel by R.F. Kuang (Harper Voyager, HarperCollins)
  • The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (Tinder Press, Headline Publishing Group)
  • Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Début Fiction 

  • Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola (Headline Review, Headline Publishing Group)
  • Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday, Transworld, Penguin Random House)
  • The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (Oneworld, Oneworld Publications)
  • Trespasses by Louise Kennedy (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • The Satsuma Complex by Bob Mortimer (Gallery, Simon & Schuster)
  • The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn (Fig Tree, Penguin Random House)

Crime and Thriller
Partner: Scala Radio Book Club

  • Murder Before Evensong by Reverend Richard Coles (W&N, Orion)
  • The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)
  • The Twyford Code by Janice Hallett (Viper Books, Profile Books)
  • Wrong Place, Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)
  • The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman (Viking, Penguin Random House)
  • Bamburgh by L.J. Ross (Dark Skies Publishing)

Partner: Magic Radio Book Club

  • The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho by Paterson Joseph (Dialogue Books)
  • As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow by Zoulfa Katouh (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Carrie Kills A Man by Carrie Marshall (404 Ink)
  • I’m a Fan by Sheena Patel (Rough Trade)
  • Home is Not a Place by Johny Pitts and Roger Robinson (William Collins, HarperCollins)
  • Aftermath by Preti Taneja (And Other Stories)

Partner: TikTok 

  • The Summer That Changed Us by Cathy Bramley (Orion Fiction, Orion Publishing Group)
  • Sunday’s Child by Dilly Court (HarperFiction, HarperCollins)
  • Verity by Colleen Hoover (Sphere Books, Little, Brown)
  • How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie (The Borough Press)
  • The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page (One More Chapter, HarperCollins)
  • The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak (Viking, PRH)

Children’s Fiction
Partner: The Week Junior

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde by Jeff Kinney (Puffin, Penguin Random House Children’s)
  • Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun by Tọlá Okogwu (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books UK)
  • Tyger by SF Said, illustrated by Dave McKean (David Fickling Books)
  • The First to Die at the End by Adam Silvera (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books UK)
  • Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books UK)
  • Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell (Walker Books)

Children’s Nonfiction
Partner: The Week Junior

  • Am I Made of Stardust?: Dr Maggie Answers the Big Questions for Young Scientists by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and illustrator Chelen Ecija (Buster Books, Michael O’Mara Books)
  • A Better Day: Your Positive Mental Health Handbook by Dr Alex George and illustrated by The Boy Fitz Hammond (Wren & Rook, Hachette)
  • Girlhood Unfiltered by Ebinehita Iyere (Knights Of)
  • You Can Do It: How to Find Your Voice and Make a Difference by Marcus Rashford and Carl Anka (Macmillan Children’s Books, Pan Macmillan)
  • Queen Elizabeth: (Volume 88) Little People, BIG DREAMS by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrator Melissa Lee Johnson (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, Quarto)
  • You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl From Ukraine by Yeva Skalietska (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Children’s Illustrated
Partner: LoveReading4Kids 

  • What the Ladybird Heard at Christmas by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (Macmillan Children’s Books, Pan Macmillan)
  • The Baddies by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler (Alison Green Books, Scholastic)
  • Supertato presents Jack and the Beanstalk by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)
  • The Heartstopper Yearbook by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)
  • Bunny vs Monkey: Rise of the Maniacal Badger by Jamie Smart (David Fickling Books)
  • Grandad’s Camper by Harry Woodgate (Andersen Press)

Nonfiction: Lifestyle and Illustrated 

  • The Story of Art without Men by Katy Hessel (Hutchinson Heinemann, Penguin Random House)
  • Menopausing by Davina McCall with Dr. Naomi Potter (HQ , HarperCollins)
  • One by Jamie Oliver (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)
  • The Golden Mole by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Talya Baldwin (Faber)
  • Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Dr Julie Smith (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)
  • The Climate Book by Greta Thunberg et al (Allen Lane, Penguin Random House)

Nonfiction: Narrative
Partner: The Big Issue

  • by Manni Coe and Reuben Coe (Little Toller Books)
  • A Visible Man by Edward Enninful (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Tired and Tested: The Wild Ride into Parenthood by Sophie McCartney (HarperNorth, HarperCollins)
  • Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing by Matthew Perry (Headline Nonfiction)
  • Madly, Deeply: The Alan Rickman Diaries by Alan Rickman (Canongate)
  • Super-Infinite: The Transformations of John Donne by Katherine Rundell (Faber)

Audiobook: Fiction

  • Geneva by Richard Armitage, narrated by Richard Armitage and Nicola Walker and Jane Perry (Audible Original)
  • The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka, narrated by Shivantha Wijesinha (Bolinda Publishing)
  • The Bullet That Missed by Richard Osman, narrated by Fiona Shaw (Penguin Audio, Penguin Randon House)
  • The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Bill Nighy, Indira Varma, Andy Serkis, Colin
  • Morgan, Peter Serafinowicz et al (Penguin Audio, Penguin Audio, Penguin Randon House)
  • Tyger by SF Said, narrated by Sarah Agha (Bolinda Publishing)
  • Young Mungo by Douglas Stuart, narrated by Chris Reilly (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Audiobook: Nonfiction

  • Parenting Hell written and read Rob Beckett and Josh Widdicombe (Blink Publishing, Bonnier Books UK)
  • A Visible Man written and read by Edward Enninful (Audible Original)
  • Ten Steps to Nanette written and read by Hannah Gadsby (W.F. Howes)
  • A Pocketful of Happiness written and read by Richard E. Grant (Gallery UK, Simon & Schuster)
  • Menopausing written and read by Davina McCall and Naomi Potter (HarperCollins)
  • Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing written and read by Matthew Perry (Headline Publishing Group)

From the stage at Grosvener House in London, the opening of the 2022 British Book Awards: Image from the stream, The Bookseller

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.

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.