Supported by Writers’ Centre Norwich and Community University Engagement East, the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards highlight the quality of writing inspired by Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland in a range of categories, both fiction and non-fiction.

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Over the last few years the awards have grown to become an established part of the region’s literary scene, giving the authors and publishers of books with a local theme the recognition that they deserve.

From novels released by major publishing houses through to impressively researched local history books, the winning titles always share one quality: a deep feeling for East Anglia.

Past winners include Mick Jackson’s novel The Widow’s Tale, evocatively set by the saltmarshes of north Norfolk, and Matthew Rice’s gorgeous appraisal of local architecture, Building Norfolk.

Now we are have a selection of expert judges waiting to see what literary treats this year will have in store.

EDP books editor Keiron Pim, who helps to organise and judge the competition, said: “We are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s East Anglian Book Awards, which explore and celebrate what makes Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland such a rich, varied and interesting place to live.

“Once again we’re looking for newly published books that, for example, chronicle the past of your village, tell the life story of an East Anglian character either famous or obscure, investigate East Anglian wildlife or find striking ways of depicting our landscape through art or photography.

“Last year’s awards saw a high number of submissions, proving how many people are writing about East Anglia – some of whom live here, but others, such as Mick Jackson, who live elsewhere in the country but have found inspiration here.

“As one of the judges again this year I’m really looking forward to reading the best new books about Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland.”

This year we have seven categories:

FICTION: for novels and short stories that are predominantly set in East Anglia.

POETRY: for collections or pamphlets of poetry that are inspired by our region.

NATURE AND PLACES: for books about the nature or landscape of East Anglia.

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY: for works compiling art and/or photography depicting the region.

HISTORY AND TRADITION: histories, studies of folklore, works on local culture or dialect all fit into this category.

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR: for life stories written by or about a person living in Norfolk, Suffolk or Fenland.

GUIDEBOOKS AND TRAVEL: for books describing walks, tours or attractions to visit in East Anglia.

One of the winners in these seven categories will also be chosen as our overall East Anglian Book of the Year.

At last year’s awards ceremony at the Assembly House in Norwich, around 150 people gathered to see novelist Louis de Bernieres present the prizes to the winning authors.

Mr de Bernieres, who lives near Diss, had the audience spellbound by reading a prose poem entitled ‘A Walberswick Goodnight Story’, a magical account of a mermaid-like creature coming ashore at the Suffolk coastal village.

The audience of authors, publishers and lovers of local literature also heard speeches from representaives of the awards’ sponsors: Chris Gribble, the chief executive of literary development agency Writers’ Centre Norwich, Caroline Jarrold, community affairs adviser at Jarrold’s, and Prof Keith Roberts, a UEA emeritus fellow who is the chairman of CUE East, which connects the University of East Anglia with arts events held in the region.

This year’s competition will once again culminate in an evening awards ceremony at the Assembly House, this year to be held on November 3. It is a requirement of entry that the author or a representative of the publisher is available to attend the prize-giving ceremony.

The deadline for submissions for the 2011 East Anglian Book Awards is July 31 and, to be eligible for entry this year, books must have been published between August 1, 2010, and July 31, 2011.

To enter the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, please send two copies of the book to Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, marking the package ‘East Anglian Book Awards’ and including a covering letter stating your contact details and which category you are entering.

For further details, call 01603 772431 or e-mail keiron.pim@archant.co.uk. Normal Archant competition rules apply.

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