2016 East Anglian Book Awards launched

The East Anglian Book Awards 2015 winners with their trophies.

The East Anglian Book Awards 2015 winners with their trophies. - Credit: SIMON FINLAY

The region's best-loved showcase for great writing is back for another year. TREVOR HEATON celebrates the ninth East Anglian Book Awards, which are now open for entries.

East Anglian Book Awards logo

East Anglian Book Awards logo - Credit: Archant

It's the ninth annual celebration of the region's writing talent with the return of the East Anglian Book Awards, organised by the EDP, Jarrold, and Writers' Centre Norwich, in association with the UEA.

Since the awards began in 2008, they have highlighted the works of well over 100 authors, almost 150 titles, and more than 80 publishers.

For 2016 we will once again be offering a top prize of £1,000 to the overall East Anglian Book of the Year, courtesy of PACCAR Foundation.

That winner will follow in the footsteps of Julia Blackburn, whose poignant part-biography part-memoir Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske was named East Anglian Book of the Year 2015.

As well as the six subject categories (from which the overall winner is chosen), this year will also see the return of our new award for lifetime achievement in local publishing, and also the 'Book by the Cover' design award, sponsored by the East Anglian Writers.

Last year's winners were: Mal Peet Children's Award - Pat-a-Cake Baby, by Joyce and Polly Dunbar (Walker Books); General Non-Fiction - The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century, by Hugh Aldersey-Williams (Granta); History & Tradition - Norfolk Parish Treasures: North and West Norfolk, by Peter Tolhurst (Black Dog Books); Biography & Memoir - Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske, by Julia Blackburn (Jonathan Cape) – this title also won the 'Book by the Cover' award for best cover design; Poetry - Going Out, by Anthony Thwaite (Enitharmon); Fiction - Mr Mac and Me, by Esther Freud (Bloomsbury); The EABA Unesco City of Literature Contribution Award - Susan Yaxley, Larks Press.

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Chris Rushby, Books & Stationery Buyer at awards co-founders Jarrold, said: 'It's a real pleasure for Jarrolds to be associated with the East Anglian Book Awards. This region seems endlessly to produce and nurture great writers, as well as splendid and innovative publishing.

'And what's more, there's a huge appetite amongst readers here for good books about the region, as well as those produced by people and enterprises within the region. Long may that continue.'

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of Writers' Centre Norwich commented: 'We're delighted to partner with the East Anglian Book Awards for the ninth year. From our home in Norwich, England's first UNESCO City of Literature, these awards showcase the strength of publishing, writing and reading across the whole of the East of England. Every year we are in awe of the talent that our region cultivates and inspires.'

Awards co-founder the EDP is also proud to sponsor the awards. Nigel Pickover, editor-in-chief of the EDP and Evening News, said: 'We are delighted to once again support and promote these awards. We look forward to celebrating more writers, photographers and publishers in this always eagerly-awaited celebration of the local publishing scene.'

And the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of East Anglia is once again pleased to support the 2016 East Anglian Book Awards. Faculty Dean, Professor Yvonne Tasker said: 'These annual awards provide a good opportunity for the region to celebrate the outstanding talent that gets better year after year. UEA takes pride in a long tradition of nurturing creative writing across multiple genres and styles. The judges are once again looking forward to reading some excellent work and UEA is pleased to lend our support.'

The presentation evening will take place in the autumn in Norwich, with a chance to enjoy a special guest speaker.

Previous guest speakers have included the likes of best-selling writers Sophie Hannah, Eimear McBride, Mark Cocker, Sarah Perry and Rose Tremain. More details of the awards evening will be announced later in the year.

The event has become a 'must' event on the East Anglian literary calendar, not only for book-lovers, but for those involved in writing and publishing who can enjoy networking on this evening of celebration for the written word.

So let the competition begin...

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How to enter this year's EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, in association with Writers' Centre Norwich and UEA.

We welcome entries in the following categories: Fiction; Poetry; History and Tradition; Biography and Memoir; General Non-Fiction; and Children's Books.

To qualify works have 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 must have been physically published for the first time between July 25, 2015 and July 22, 2016 and been commercially available.

To enter, simply submit TWO physical copies of your nominated book, plus a covering letter which includes details of which category you would like it to be entered for.

Send your entries to Trevor Heaton, East Anglian Book Awards, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE. Any entry queries should also be addressed to him at trevor.heaton@ archant.co.uk with 'EABA' in the subject line.

The closing date for entries is noon on FRIDAY JULY 22 2016. To help the judging process, please don't leave your entry to the last minute. We cannot return entries.

All titles will be considered before the judges draw up their shortlist for each category.

Organisers reserve the right to withdraw or amend any category depending on number of entries received.

Due to the volume of entries, we regret that we are not able to give feedback to unsuccessful entrants.

This shortlist will be published in the Eastern Daily Press, Evening News, and on-line, by early October. Shortlisted authors will be informed.

EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards 'book of the year' winners:

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

? 2014 - After Me Comes The Flood, by Sarah Perry (Jonathan Cape)

? 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)

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