This year's Publishers Publicity Circle Awards, which this week unveiled their shortlists, include a Crime and Thriller campaign category and an award for the Best Children’s and YA Celebrity campaign for the first time.
The annual awards recognise the best campaigns delivered by publicists across the UK, and this year feature individuals from large presses including Bloomsbury, Simon & Schuster and Penguin Random House, alongside independents including Profile Books.
The full shortlist includes nominations for 15 categories. Nominated for the Waterstones Hardback Fiction Award are: A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende (Philippa Cotton, Bloomsbury), Weather by Jenny Offill (Lamorna Elmer, Granta), The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel (Patrick Hargadon, Fourth Estate), Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell (Georgina Moore, Midas PR for Headline), Sisters by Daisy Johnson (Mia Quibell-Smith, Vintage), The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett (Millie Seaward, Little, Brown), and Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers (Virginia Woolstencroft, Orion).
Shorlisted for The Bookseller Award for Hardback Non-Fiction are: House of Music by Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason (Kate Bland, Oneworld), The Wim Hof Method by Wim Hof (Ellie Crisp, Ebury), The Rules of Contagion by Adam Kucharski (Drew Jerrison, Profile), Motherwell by Deborah Orr (Leanne Oliver, Orion), Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad (Ella Patel, Quercus), Dear Life by Rachel Clarke (Grace Vincent, Little, Brown) and How to Argue with a Racist by Adam Rutherford (Virginia Woolstencroft, Orion).
Featured in the new Best Celebrity campaign category are: It Takes Blood and Guts by Skin (Jess Barratt, Simon & Schuster), A Del of a Life by David Jason (Charlotte Bush, Rachel Kennedy and Lydia Spooner, Cornerstone), Finding Freedom by Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand (Sophie Calder, HQ) It’s a Love Story by Shirlie and Martin Kemp (Sarah Harwood, Harwood PR for Mirror Books), The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (Olivia Mead and Chloe Davies, Penguin General), A Promised Land by Barack Obama (Poppy North and Jane Gentle, Penguin General), The Sanest Guy in the Room by Don Black (Jo Wickham, Little, Brown) and Let’s Do It: The Authorised Biography of Victoria Wood by Jasper Rees (Virginia Woolstencroft, Orion).
The Mo Siewcharran Award for Best Debut campaign sees Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam (Emilie Chambeyron, Bloomsbury), Poor by Caleb Femi (Emma Draude and Annabelle Wright, ed public relations and Sarah Wright and Thi Dinh, Penguin Press), Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid (Ros Ellis, Bloomsbury) and Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (Camilla Elworthy, Pan Macmillan) listed alongside Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan (Francesca Pearce, Orion and Elaine Egan, Hachette Ireland), The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Josh Smith and Connor Hutchinson, Faber & Faber) and This Lovely City by Louise Hare (Joe Thomas, HQ).
The Best Crime and Thriller campaign list, sponsored by Bloody Scotland, features: Just My Luck by Adele Parks (Sophie Calder, HQ), The Guest List by Lucy Foley (Jennifer Harlow, HarperFiction), Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh (Alexandra Layt, Orion), Seven Lies by Elizabeth Kay (Stephanie Melrose, Little, Brown), and Killing For Company by Brian Masters (Lydia Spooner, Cornerstone).
The shortlist for Best Lifestyle, Gift and Humour campaign, sponsored by Books Are My Bag, comprises: Bread Therapy by Pauline Beaumont (Niamh Anderson, Hodder & Stoughton), Skincare by Caroline Hirons (Megan Carver and Becca Newson, Carver PR for HQ), Word Perfect by Susie Dent (Alice Herbert, John Murray Press), Lunar Living by Kirsty Gallagher (Myrto Kalavrezou, Hodder & Stoughton), All on the Board by All on the Board (Jenny Platt, Hodder & Stoughton), and Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval (Ellen Turner, Orion).
The NetGalley Award for Paperback Original in a fiction or non-fiction work shortlist comprises: Duty of Care by Dr Dominic Pimenta (Shona Abhyankar, ed public relations for Welbeck Publishing), Untamed by Glennon Doyle (Ellie Crisp, Ebury) Spoon Fed by Tim Spector (Alison Davies, Vintage), Breasts and Eggs by Mieko Kawakami, (Alice Dewing, Pan Macmillan), The Boy Between by Amanda Prowse and Josiah Hartley (Emma Draude and Annabelle Wright, ed public relations for Little A), and Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo (Rebecca McCarthy, Simon & Schuster).
The Edinburgh International Book Festival Award for Best Generic campaign UK sees the launch of Bookshop.org (Edwina Boyd-Gibbons and Rhiannon Carroll, Midas PR), the Summer Reading Challenge (Emma Draude, Shona Abhyankar and Annabelle Wright, edpublic relations), Axe the Reading Tax (Jasmine Joynson and Ruth Howells, Publishers Association), Dearly by Margaret Atwood (Fran Owen, Mari Yamazaki and Mia Quibell-Smith, Vintage), compete with A Year of Bernardine Evaristo (Anna Ridley, Penguin General) and Puffin’s 80th Birthday (Tania Vian-Smith and Sophia Dryden, Penguin Random House Children’s and Katie French, Premier).
For Best Children’s and YA Celebrity campaign the shortlist is: The Wizard in My Shed by Simon Farnaby (Lucy Clayton, Hachette Children’s Group), My First Cook Book by David Atherton (Kirsten Cozens, Walker Books), Is There Anybody Out There? by Dara O'Briain (Rachel Phillips, Scholastic) Break the Mould by Sinead Burke (Emily Thomas, Hachette Children’s Group and Elaine Egan, Hachette Ireland), The Day I Fell into a Fairytale by Ben Miller (Eve Wersocki Morris, Simon & Schuster Children's), and Anything is Possible by Gareth Southgate (Klara Zak and Lydia Spooner, Cornerstone).
The Cookery Book Award list comprises: Wean in 15 by Joe Wicks (Jessica Duffy, Pan Macmillan), Nadiya Bakes by Nadiya Hussain (Laura Nicol and Ella Watkins, Michael Joseph), The Batch Lady by Suzanne Mulholland (Lucy Richardson, HQ), The Flavour Equation by Nik Sharma (Cora Siedlecka, Abrams & Chronicle), and The Hairy Bikers Veggie Feasts by The Hairy Bikers (Virginia Woolstencroft and Alainna Hadjigeorgiou, Orion).
The PPC Award for Best Sports Book campaign features: What a Flanker by James Haskell (Lucy Brown, Harper Non-Fiction), Born Fighter by Ruqsana Begum (Harriett Collins, Simon & Schuster), Beyond Possible by Nimsdai Purja (Rebecca Mundy, Hodder & Stoughton), and My Life in Red and White by Arsene Wenger (Maura Wilding and Alexandra Layt, Orion).
The Children’s Book Award, sponsored by the Daily Mail, has shortlisted: While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin (Bethany Carter, Faber & Faber), The Book of Hopes by Katherine Rundell (Beatrice Cross, Bloomsbury Children’s), Dogger’s Christmas by Shirley Hughes (Ellen Grady, Penguin Random House Children’s), Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright! by Fiona Waters (Rebecca Mason and Sian Taylor, Nosy Crow), Death Sets Sail by Robin Stevens (Harriet Venn and Chloe Parkinson, Penguin Random House Children’s) and A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll (Annabelle Wright, ed public relations for Knights Of).
For Best YA campaign the shortlist is: A Snowfall of Silver by Laura Wood (Harriet Dunlea, Scholastic), Black & British: A Short Essential History by David Olusoga (Amber Ivatt and Sabrina Maharjan, Macmillan Children’s Books), Punching the Air by Yusef Salaam and Ibi Zoboi (Tina Mories, HarperCollins Children’s Books) and And the Stars Were Burning Brightly by Danielle Jawando (Eve Wersocki Morris, Simon & Schuster Children’s).
Best Newcomer Award, sponsored by Jo James, comprises: Bread Therapy by Pauline Beaumont (Niamh Anderson, Hodder & Stoughton), The Artful Dickens by John Mullan (Ella Harold, Bloomsbury), Lunar Living by Kirsty Gallagher (Myrto Kalavrezou, Hodder & Stoughton), Clanlands by Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish (Kate Keehan, Hodder & Stoughton), Me and White Supremacy by Layla F Saad (Ella Patel, Quercus), Killing for Company by Brian Masters (Lydia Spooner, Cornerstone), Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval (Ellen Turner, Orion) and No Time Like the Future by Michael J Fox (Antonia Whitton, Headline).
Stephanie Melrose, deputy publicity director at Little, Brown Book Group, and chair of the PPC, said: “At the time of the Annual Awards, we often discuss the creativity, tenacity and flexibility of publicists, whose roles can see the most carefully-laid plans shaken up by circumstance. However, in the year where change was the only constant, book PRs across the industry have adapted their work within the most extraordinarily fast-moving and difficult circumstances; and as a result, these characteristics are all the more evident in the array of shortlisted campaigns. While I’m deeply sad not to be celebrating in person with all our wonderful PPC members this spring, I am thrilled that with our first virtual awards ceremony, we will still have an opportunity to gather and toast to their hard work and brilliance.”
The awards will be judged by an independent panel including representatives from sponsoring organisations, with the winners revealed live at the first online iteration of the awards, which will take place on the evening of 2nd March. The shortlist for Publicity Campaign of the Year at the British Book Awards is selected by the BBA judging team from the category-winning campaigns at the PPC Annual Awards.
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