East Anglian Book of the Year 2016 revealed

East Anglian Book Awards logo

East Anglian Book Awards logo - Credit: Archant

The 2016 East Anglian Book Awards have been announced.

Jill Dawson: Author of the Suffolk-set novel The Crime Writer.

Jill Dawson: Author of the Suffolk-set novel The Crime Writer. - Credit: Archant

The 2016 Jarrold-EDP East Anglian Book of the Year has been revealed in an awards evening held last night at the Norwich store.

The Crime Writer by Jill Dawson was awarded the £1,000 overall prize, sponsored by Paccar Foundation, to become the ninth winner of the popular East Anglian Book Awards, organised and staged in association with Writers' Centre Norwich and UEA.

The book is a fictional take on the real-life period in the early 1960s when crime writer Patricia Highsmith lived in the Suffolk village of Earl Soham.

Judges described the book, published by Hodder & Stoughton, as 'atmospheric, suspenseful and compelling'.

The Crime Writer, by Jill Dawson (Hodder & Stoughton)

The Crime Writer, by Jill Dawson (Hodder & Stoughton) - Credit: Archant

The Crime Writer also won the Fiction category in the awards. The final judging panel chose it for the overall award ahead of other category winners Jumpin' Jack Flash by Keiron Pim (Biography & Memoir); Heyday: Britain and the Birth of the Modern World by Ben Wilson (History & Tradition), The Print Museum by Heidi Williamson (Poetry); Lost Country Houses of Norfolk: History, Archaeology and Myth by Tom Williamson, Ivan Ringwood and Sarah Spooner (General Non-Fiction); and Longbow Girl by Linda Davies (The Mal Peet Children's Book Award).

Jill Dawson's book follows in the footsteps of Threads: The Delicate Life of John Craske, by Julia Blackburn, which was named East Anglian Book of the Year 2015.

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This year's awards also included the second East Anglian Book Awards Exceptional Contribution Award, which was given to distinguished Suffolk writer Ronald Blythe, whose most famous book is the classic Akenfield.

The 'Book by the cover' award, sponsored by East Anglian Writers for the best-designed cover of the shortlisted titles, went to Shona Branigan, who designed the cover of Heidi Williamson's book.

Guest speaker at the evening event was Sunday Times No 1 bestselling author Simon Scarrow.

Since the awards began in 2008 they have showcased the work of well over 100 authors, 165 titles, and more than 80 publishers.

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