Branford Boase Award 2019 Longlist Announced

In this, the 20th anniversary of the unique Branford Boase award, there is a particularly strong longlist, announced yesterday 31st January. The Award was set up in memory of author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker books, and is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children, rewarding both the author and the book’s editor. This highlighting of the importance of the editor points to their talent in nurturing new authors and honing books to near perfection, showing the value of the team around the book.

This year there are 20 books on the longlist, chosen from submissions by two dozen different publishers. Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival, and chair of the judging panel said:

“Once again we were delighted by the number of entries and by the sheer quality of the books submitted. We are proud that so many of the authors acknowledged by the Branford Boase Award have gone on to write outstanding novels for children, and are proud too to be championing editors, those invisible women and men whose contribution to literature is so often overlooked.”

The longlist is as follows

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron, edited by Nick Lake and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)

The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)

Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)

The Fandom by Anna Day, edited by Kesia Lupo (Chicken House)

Me Mam. Me Dad. Me by Malcolm Duffy, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)

Twister by Juliette Forrest edited by Lauren Fortune (Scholastic)

Flight by Vanessa Harbour, edited by Janet Thomas (Firefly)

Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, edited by Linas Alsenas (Scholastic)

The Goose Road by Rowena House, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker Books)

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James, edited by Rachel Denwood and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)

The Mystery of the Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan)

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Raúf, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion Children’s Books)

On a Scale of One to Ten by Ceylan Scott edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw, edited by Bella Pearson and Anthony Hinton (David Fickling Books)

Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton, edited Emma Matthewson (Hot Key)

Run Riot by Nikesh Shukla, edited by Emma Goldhawk (Hodder Children’s Books)

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson, edited by Jennie Skinner and Sally Polson (Floris Books)

The shortlist will be announced on 1st May, and the winner at at ceremony on 3rd July. Last year’s winner was Mitch Johnson and his editors Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker with the novel Kick (Usborne).

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