Revealed: The shortlists for this year’s East Anglian Book Awards

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 October 2014 | UPDATED: 13:27 19 November 2014

Eimear McBride, multi-award-winning Norwich novelist.

Eimear McBride, multi-award-winning Norwich novelist.


Today we can reveal the shortlists for this year’s EDP/ Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, the annual celebration of the best new writing from our region.

The presentation of the awards

• Tickets (£20) are now on sale for the presentation of the awards on Thursday November 20, taking place at Jarrolds Pantry Restaurant with guest speaker Eimear McBride.

• The evening (6.30 for 7pm) includes two-course dinner and coffee with a glass of wine on arrival.

• To buy tickets call 01603 660661, visit or visit Customer Services in the London Street, Norwich, store.

The EDP/ Jarrold Awards are organised annually by Writers’ Centre Norwich, the EDP and Jarrold, with support from the University of East Anglia’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities. They aim to: Promote Norwich (England’s only UNESCO City of Literature) and the wider region as a thriving centre of writing and publishing; celebrate the best of the written word locally and nationally; and nurture new and emerging writers and local small presses alongside mainstream publications with a focus on East Anglia.

After spending the summer reading more than 80 entries the judges have selected 19 books of outstanding quality across six categories, and now the final judging process is under way to decide the category winners.

The six category-winning finalists and the overall East Anglian Book of the Year – which will be drawn from these six finalists - will be announced on November 20 at an awards dinner at Jarrold, 1-11 London Street, Norwich.

The first prize in each category and the overall £1,000 cash prize will be awarded by Eimear McBride, whose hugely-acclaimed novel A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing (published in 2013 by Galley Beggar Press of Norwich) has triumphed in the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Kerry Group Best Irish Novel of the Year Award and the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, and been shortlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Folio Prize.

Ian Collins, the overall winner of the 2013 EDP/ Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, with the book he edited called Masterpieces. Picture: Denise BradleyIan Collins, the overall winner of the 2013 EDP/ Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, with the book he edited called Masterpieces. Picture: Denise Bradley

The shortlisted books are:

Fiction, judged by novelist and poet Sophie Hannah, whose The Monogram Murders, a new Hercule Poirot novel, was recently launched at the Norwich Playhouse:

• The Outcast Dead by Elly Griffiths (Quercus)

• Black Sheep by Susan Hill (Chatto & Windus)

• After Me Comes The Flood by Sarah Perry (Profile Books)


Poetry, judged by George Szirtes, recently retired as Professor of Poetry at UEA:

• At The Time of Partition by Moniza Alvi (Bloodaxe Books)

• Ink’s Wish by Sarah Law (Gatehouse Press)

• What I Saw by Laura Scott (Rialto)

• Yoga by Tom Warner (Egg Box)


History and Tradition, judged by awards founder Trevor Heaton (Features Editor, EDP/Evening News):

• The Revolt and Taming of the ‘Ignorant’ by David Adams (Larks Press)

• East Anglia and its North Sea World in the Middle Ages, edited by David Bates and Robert Liddiard (Boydell Press)

• We Were Eagles (Vol 1, July 42 to November 43) by Martin Bowman (Amberley)


Biography and Memoir, judged by Diana Souhami, the award-winning biographer of Edith Cavell:

• Diana Poulton: The Lady With The Lute by Thea Abbott (Smokehouse Press)

• A Twilight Landscape: The Hidden Art of George James Rowe of Woodbridge (1804-1883) by Chloe Bennett (DK & MN Sanford)

• Two Turtle Doves by Alex Monroe (Bloomsbury)


General Non-Fiction, judged by Sam Ruddock, Programme Manager at WCN:

• Badgerlands by Patrick Barkham (Granta Books)

• Birds & People by Mark Cocker (Jonathan Cape)

• Four Fields by Tim Dee (Jonathan Cape)


Children’s Books, judged by Joyce Dunbar, a prolific author of books for young people:

• Paupers by Mary Chapman (Ransom Publishing) – age range 9-12

• Rupert the Dinosaur by Douglas Vallgren, illustrated by Karl Newson (self-published) – age range 3-6

• Everyone A Stranger by Victor Watson (Catnip Publishing) – age range 9-12


To qualify works had to be set largely in East Anglia or be written by an author living in the region, which for the awards’ purposes is defined as the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, and the area of Fenland District Council.

Books had to have been published for the first time between August 1, 2013 and July 31 of this year.

The overall winner will be chosen by a panel of experts from the partner organisations, chaired by Chris Rushby, Book Buyer at Jarrold.

The membership organisation East Anglian Writers has also donated a special cash prize for the best cover art.

Last November 120 people – from authors and publishers to members of the public – gathered to learn the winners of the 2012 awards.

Publishing legend Liz Calder, director of Full Circle Editions, who founded Bloomsbury Publishing, the Groucho Club and the Orange Prize for Fiction, spoke on the importance of prizes in the literary ecology.

Previous overall winners include Masterpieces, edited by Ian Collins (East Publishing/SCVA), Edith Cavell by Diana Souhami (Quercus) and The Last Hunters, Candy Whittome’s nostalgic evocation of the lives of the Cromer crab fishermen (Full Circle Editions).

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