Record number contest British Book Awards' indie prize

Record number contest British Book Awards' indie prize

A record breaking number of submissions has led to the highest ever number of regional shortlisted bookshops at the British Book Awards’ Independent Bookshop of the Year category, sponsored by Gardners Books.

In all, submissions were up 15% in this competitive category, with 42 independent bookshops from eight regions across the UK and Ireland making the cut. They will compete to become regional winners, with the names to be announced on 15th March at the London Book Fair.

The regional winners will then vie for the overall Independent Bookshop of the Year crown at the British Book Awards ceremony, to be held at The Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 8th May. Sponsor Gardners Books will once again present the overall winner with a cheque for £5,000 prize, to be invested in the day-to-day running of the shop or potential improvements.

Winner in last year’s Wales and Midlands category, Bookish, will compete again for the overall title; Blessington Books will vie for the Ireland regional crown; Atkinson-Pryce in Biggar is up for the Scottish title; and Forum Books in Corbridge will go head to head with six others to contest the North England regional award.

Crediton Community Bookshop in the Southwest has been shortlisted for the first time, and the list also features perennial contenders Chorleywood Bookshop, Rossiter Books and White Rose Books. The shortlist is revealed at a time when indie bookshop numbers are in decline, with many facing increased rates. According to the latest Booksellers Association statistics, released in 2015, there are 894 nationwide.

Tom Tivnan, features and insight editor of The Bookseller, said: “We have really been astounded this year by the sheer breadth, depth and quality of the entries. Whittling them down to the shortlists has been an extremely difficult process. It’s still tough out there for indies, but these shops are showing how resourceful, creative and passionate booksellers can not only survive, but thrive in today’s market.”

*Customers can share their stories about their favourite shortlisted bookshops here.

The full shortlist

London
1 London Review Bookshop
2 Tales on Moon Lane
3 Burley Fisher Books
4 Gosh! Comics
5 Dulwich Books
6 Pages of Hackney

Ireland
7 The Gutter Bookshop
   Dublin
8 Bridge Street Bookshop
   Wicklow
9 The Blessington Bookshop
   Wicklow

East
10 The Book Hive
     Norwich
11 Niche Comics
     Huntingdon
12 Lindum Books
     Lincoln
13 Harris & Harris
     Clare, Suffolk
14 Rogan’s Books
     Bedford

Midlands and Wales
15 Bookish
     Crickhowell
16 Kenilworth Books
     Kenilworth
17 Five Leaves Bookshop
     Nottingham
18 Rossiter Books
     Monmouth
19 The Chepstow Bookshop
     Chepstow
20 Octavo’s Book Cafe & Wine Bar
     Cardiff

North England
21 Linghams Booksellers
     Heswall
22 White Rose Books
     Thirsk
23 Forum Books
     Corbridge
24 Drake-The Bookshop
     Stockton-on-Tees
25 The Bookcase
     Hebden Bridge

Scotland
26 Far From the Madding Crowd
     Linlithgow
27 Atkinson-Pryce Books
     Biggar
28 Golden Hare Books
     Edinburgh
29 The Edinburgh Bookshop
     Edinburgh
30 The Orcadian Bookshop
     Kirkwall
31 The Nairn Bookshop
     Nairn

Southeast
32 Chicken & Frog Bookshop
     Brentwood
33 The Bookshop
     East Grinstead
34 Red Lion Books
     Colchester
35 Chorleywood Bookshop
     Rickmansworth
36 The Woodstock Bookshop
     Woodstock
37 Book Nut
     Billericay

Southwest
38 Sarum College Bookshop
     Salisbury
39 The Book Shop
     Liskeard
40 Octavia’s Bookshop
     Cirencester
41 The Corsham Bookshop
     Corsham
42 Crediton Community Bookshop
     Crediton