The shortlist for the 2015 Branford Boase Award has been announced today. The Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.
The number of books submitted for the award has been steadily rising with more than 60 submitted this year, proof of the vitality of publishing for children in the UK. From a longlist of 18, seven outstanding debuts have made it onto the shortlist. It’s a diverse list: central characters include troubled young men, teenage girls facing difficult personal situations, and the community of a small Welsh town; settings range from the South Africa of the 1990s to an invented, and frightening, other world. Last year’s winning publisher Simon and Schuster has two titles on the shortlist, while small independent Nosy Crow appears for the first time. The seven shortlisted books are:
This year the judges are librarian and chair of Ibby UK Pam Dix; Sue Jones, children’s books consultant; Clare Maltby, bookseller from P & G Wells in Winchester; and C. J. (Chelsey) Flood, author of Infinite Sky, winner of the 2014 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of the Guardian.
Julia Eccleshare says: “This year’s varied and impressive shortlist is a very positive statement about the strength and health of children’s books. Publishers large and small are keener than ever to find and nurture creative new authors.”
The Branford Boase Award judging panel has an extremely successful record in picking future best-selling and critically acclaimed authors. Previous winners and shortlisted authors include Kevin Brooks, Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness, all of whom went on to win the CILIP Carnegie Medal.
The winner of the 2015 Branford Boase Award will be announced on Thursday 9th July at a ceremony in London. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box.