The category judges for the 2022 East Anglian Book Awards have been announced after an impressive number of entries were received from across the region.

Local writers, postgraduate students and teachers from the prestigious University of East Anglia (UEA) School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing and School of History are among those who will judge the submissions for the coveted awards, which celebrate the outstanding literary culture of our region.

The full list of category judges is:


Cassia Hayward-Fitch, PhD researcher in American Studies at UEA


Joe Williams, journalist and PhD researcher at UEA

General Non-Fiction

Sabina Dosani, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, and a PhD researcher in Creative and Critical Writing UEA

History and Tradition

Amanda Dillon, lecturer in history at UEA and manages the academic journal European History Quarterly


Jake Reynolds, poet and PhD researcher at UEA

Mal Peet Children’s Award

Tom Smith, author, editor and professor of American Literature and Culture at UEA

Joe Williams, journalist, PHD researcher and Fiction Award judge said: "Norwich has always been a City of Stories and this year sees an eclectic mix of lively new writing.

“From Fenland gangsters to Cambridge witches, and from urban realism to speculative fiction, this year’s writing of and about East Anglia shows an engagement with the folk stories of the past and the burning questions of the present.

“The judging process will be arduous – but a real pleasure.”

The shortlisted books will be announced at the beginning of October, with the category winners announced in mid-January 2023.

The overall winner of the awards, which celebrate the very best of publishing, writing, and reading in the East of England, will be announced at a special event on Friday February 17, 2023.

Readers will also find out who has been awarded the Book by the Cover Award (judged by members of East Anglian Writers) and the prestigious Exceptional Contribution Award for an individual’s work within writing and publishing in the region.

Now in their 15th year, the East Anglian Book Awards recognise the books and writers who have been shaped by, and have helped to shape, the culture of the East of England.

Last year’s winner of East Anglian Book of the Year was Melissa Harrison for her nature diary, The Stubborn Light of Things (Faber & Faber).

Harrison said: "If you write about place – and especially, if you write about somewhere other than the place where you grew up – local recognition becomes particularly precious.

“Having fallen helplessly in love with this part of the world, I’m so proud that The Stubborn Light of Things has been named East Anglian Book of the Year."

Since the awards began, they have highlighted the work of over 150 authors, 200 titles and 100 publishers.

Previous winners include multi-award-winning author and naturalist Mark Cocker, and Sarah Perry, who went on to win the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and whose novel The Essex Serpent became a Waterstones Book of the Year.

The award partners are the Norwich-based National Centre for Writing, the University of East Anglia, Jarrold, and the Eastern Daily Press.

They are supported by the PACCAR Foundation.

Former East Anglian Book of the Year Award winners

2021 - The Stubborn Light of Things by Melissa Harrison (Faber & Faber).

2020 – The House of One Hundred Clocks by A.M Howell (Usborne)

2019 – A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes From a Small Planet by Mark Cocker (Jonathan Cape)

2018 – The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore by Jules Pretty (Comstock)

2017 – Lapwing and Fox: Conversations Between John Berger and John Christie by John Christie (Objectif)

2016 – The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson (Hodder and Stoughton)

2015 – Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske by Julia Blackburn (Jonathan Cape)

2014 – After Me Comes The Flood by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tale)

2013 – Masterpieces: Art and East Anglia, edited by Ian Collins (East Publishing/SCVA)

2012 – The Last Hunters by Candy Whittome (Full Circle Editions)

2011 – Edith Cavell by Diana Souhami (Quercus)

2010 – The Widow’s Tale by Mick Jackson (Faber and Faber)

2009 – Building Norfolk by Matthew Rice (Frances Lincoln)

2008 – Scapegallows by Carol Birch (Virago)