2015 East Anglian Book Awards shortlist announced

The 2014 East Anglian Book Awards Winners

The 2014 East Anglian Book Awards Winners - Credit: Archant

The shortlist for the 2015 Jarrolds/EDP East Anglian Book Awards, the showcase for the region's best creative talent, has been announced.

The 18 front-runners for the 2015 East Anglian Book Awards, now in their eighth year, have been announced.

Dozens of authors and publishers have submitted entries for this year's awards, a celebration of the region's writing and publishing. The overall winners will be revealed at the presentation night on Wednesday November 4.

The awards are now in their eighth year and are staged in partnership between the EDP, Jarrold, Writers' Centre Norwich and UEA. The overall East Anglian Book of the Year winner receives a £1,000 prize, thanks to the generous support of the PACCAR Foundation.

Since the awards began in 2008 they have showcased the work of well over 100 authors, 147 titles, and more than 80 publishers. That winner will follow in the footsteps of Norwich novelist Sarah Perry whose novel After Me Comes the Flood was named East Anglian Book of the Year 2014.

An overall winner will be selected from the six categories and in addition the East Anglian Writers will once again sponsor a prize for their award entitled Book by the Cover selected from all the shortlisted titles, and chosen by members of East Anglian Writers.

This year there's a new award (chosen by the organisers), the 'EABA UNESCO City of Literature Exceptional Contribution Award', to honour a person or organisation who has made a particular contribution to local publishing.

Most Read

As ever, it has been a very difficult job to decide on the shortlist from the dozens of entries received this year.

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers' Centre Norwich said: 'We're delighted to be partnering the East Anglian Book Awards for the eighth year in a row. The Eastern region has one of the highest percentages of independent publishers in the country and these awards help us celebrate and support this. The shortlist this year is really exciting and demonstrates how inspirational the landscape, people, heritage and culture of our region are to writers from the East and further afield. The judges have a tough job on their hands.'

The categories, their judges - and that all-important shortlist - are as follows...

Biography & Memoir


Keiron Pim: Keiron is a Norwich-based non-fiction author whose major biography Jumpin' Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the Rock'n'Roll Underworld will be published in January. Previously he wrote The Bumper Book of Dinosaurs (Square Peg, 2013) and edited and introduced Into the Light: the Medieval Hebrew Poetry of Meir of Norwich (East Publishing, 2013). He worked for 12 years as books editor and an award-winning feature writer at the EDP, where he helped establish the book awards.

Shortlisted titles:

Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske - Julia Blackburn (Jonathan Cape)

Ariadne's Thread: In Memory of W G Sebald - Philippa Comber (Propolis Books)

Cobbold and Kin: Life Stories from an East Anglian Family - Clive Hodges (Boydell Press)

Mal Peet Children's Award


Sheridan Winn: Sheridan lives in Norwich and is a freelance journalist and author. As a journalist she has written for many international publications and is known for her profiles of business leaders. As an author, she is known for Boudica's Daughters, a YA novel set in Norfolk, and the Sprite Sister series of books which describe the magical adventures of four sisters who each have one elemental power, and are based partly on Sheridan's childhood experiences as the eldest of four sisters growing up in Norfolk. She is currently writing the 10th and final Sprite Sister book.

Shortlisted titles:

The Hide-and-Scare Bear – Ivan Bates (Templar Publishing)

Pat-a-Cake Baby – Joyce Dunbar and Polly Dunbar (Walker Books)

Winter's Bullet – William Osborne (Chicken House)



Vesna Goldsworthy: Vesna was born in Belgrade in 1961 and has lived in London since 1986. She writes in English, her third language. She has authored four widely translated books, including two international bestsellers, both of which were serialised by the BBC: Chernobyl Strawberries, a memoir, and Gorsky, a novel. She joined UEA as Professor in Creative Writing in August 2015.

Shortlisted titles:

Mr Mac and Me – Esther Freud (Bloomsbury)

The Last Pilot - Benjamin Johncock (Myriad Editions)

Wallflowers – Eliza Robertson (Bloomsbury)

General Non-Fiction


Trevor Heaton: Founder of the East Anglian Book Awards, Trevor is EDP features (and Weekend magazine) editor. He is himself a prolific local author and is currently about to publish his 11th book, following his 2012 title A Scandal at Felbrigg.

Shortlisted titles:

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century – Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Granta)

Claxton – Mark Cocker (Jonathan Cape)

Digging Sedgeford: A People's Archaeology - SHARP (Poppyland)

History & Tradition


Bruce Kemble-Johnson: Bruce spent most of his childhood near Beccles, and has worked in the book trade for more than 30 years, initially as general bookseller and then buyer and manager at the Black Horse Bookshop in Norwich, and then for Jarrold. Bruce's main interests are architecture and the country house and its history plus natural history, walking, gardening, and volunteering for the National Trust when time permits. Bruce has a special interest in lost houses and lost history, such as medieval villages, and researching these plus family history.

Shortlisted titles:

The Old Courts and Yards of Norwich: A Story of People, Poverty and Pride – Frances and Michael Holmes (Norwich Heritage Projects)

The Fatal Gates of Norwich – Peter Kent (Cupola Books)

Norfolk Parish Treasures: North and West Norfolk – Peter Tolhurst (Black Dog Books)



Nathan Hamilton: Nathan runs egg box publishing and his poetry and criticism have appeared in The Guardian, The Spectator, The Rialto, Five Dials, The Manhattan Review and The Wolf. He co-edited the popular antholog-zine series for emerging poetry, Stop Sharpening Your Knives, and edited Dear World And Everyone In It: New Poetry in the UK (Bloodaxe, 2013). Tweet @NathanHamilton; @TheEggBox.

Shortlisted titles:

The Organ Box – Matt Howard (Eyewear 20/20 Pamphlet Series)

Shingle Street – Blake Morrison (Chatto Poetry)

Going Out – Anthony Thwaite (Enitharmon)

This year's East Anglian Book Awards presentation night will take place on Wednesday November 4 at The Pantry Restaurant, Floor 3, at Jarrold's Norwich store.

Enjoy a delicious two-course meal and coffee, hear entertaining insights from a guest speaker from the world of publishing (name to be announced) - and find out the winners of the six categories, outstanding contribution award and 'Book by the Cover' award. The evening highlight will, of course, be the announcement of the eighth East Anglian Book Awards overall 'Book of the Year' £1000 prize winner for 2015...

After an 6.30pm arrival for 7pm start, the meal and coffee will continue until 8.30pm when the presentations will begin. The evening is scheduled to finish around 9.45pm.

Tickets (£20) are available from Customer Services, Floor 2 (01603 660661) or buy online at www.jarrold.co.uk.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter