Diverse Book Awards longlists features Zephaniah, Lawrence and Wilson

Diverse Book Awards longlists features Zephaniah, Lawrence and Wilson

The longlists for the second Diverse Book Awards have been revealed, recognising inclusivity in children’s, YA and adult fiction.

Created by writing community The Author School, the awards received more than 100 submissions this year. Authors to make the longlists include Benjamin Zephaniah, Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi, Patrice Lawrence and Jacqueline Wilson. 

The shortlist will be revealed on 20th September, and the winners in each category announced on 21st October 2021. 

Abiola Bello, author and co-founder of The Author School, said: “Through the Diverse Book Awards I have discovered new diverse books and authors that I hadn’t previously been aware of. I hope that the longlist inspires others to discover new talent too. The conversation around diversity in publishing has stepped up a level over recent months, at a time when we were shouting out for submissions to the Diverse Book Awards. The longlist represents the work that has been done already within publishing and showcases that it is truly is possible for diverse and inclusive books to be the ‘norm’ rather than ‘exception’. We hope that encouraging publishers and authors to write more diverse and inclusive books—and enter them into next year’s awards—will be a positive step forward for the publishing industry in this country. Massive thank you to the judges!” 

The three winners from each category will receive a bundle of prizes including a trophy, a six-month PR and marketing membership of Literally PR’s 100 Club, a feature and virtual event with independent online bookshop Back To Books, editorial content in publications Bad Form and Pen&Inc, plus the opportunity to be part of two author panel events, one hosted by The Author School and the other with Simon & Schuster. The children's winner will have their book featured as part of World Book Day Book Club and a school visit organised by World of Diversity. The YA winner will be part of Wigtown YA Literary Festival and a school visit organised by World of Diversity. The children's and YA winner will be featured on Tiny Revolution's website and included in their catalogue of books.

Helen Lewis, co-founder of The Author School and book publicist at Literally PR, added: “There was a 60% increase in the number of diverse and inclusive books that were submitted to the Diverse Book Awards in its second year. The attention the longlisted, shortlisted and winning books received in 2020 was so exciting to witness. Libraries and schools told us they were using the longlist as a guide to the ‘must-read’ diverse and inclusive books they needed to have available for their readers. This year, we’re so happy to see a number of self-published and indie published books in the longlist—[which is] as it should be. The Diverse Book Awards is for all diverse and inclusive books, written by a UK-based or British author, and published in 2020. It’s irrelevant to us (or the reader) how the book was published. We really hope that the book trade, readers, publishers, writers and the media get fully behind the Diverse Book Awards to amplify these amazing books.” 

The longlists comprise: 

Children’s Fiction 

Windrush Child by Benjamin Zephaniah (Scholastic Children’s Books)  

Too Small Tola by Atinuke and Onyinye Iwu (Walker Books)  

Do You Know Me? by Rebecca Westcott and Libby Scott (Scholastic Children’s Books)  

Nothing Ever Happens Here by Sarah Hagger-Holt (Usborne)  

Baller Boys by Venessa Taylor and Kenneth Ghann (Hashtag Press) 

Zombierella: Fairy Tales Gone Bad by Joseph Coelho and Freya Hartas (Walker Books)  

Dragon Mountain by Katie and Kevin Tsang (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)  

Clean Up by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola (Penguin Random House Children’s)  

A Secret of Birds & Bone by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)  

Little Badman and the Time-Travelling Teacher of Doom by Humza Arshad and Henry White (Penguin Random House Children’s) 

Young Adult Fiction 

Eight Pieces of Silva by Patrice Lawrence (Hodder Children’s Books (Hachette)  

Run, Rebel by Manjeet Mann (Penguin Random House Children’s)  

Cane Warriors by Alex Wheatle (Andersen Press)  

And the Stars Were Shining Brightly by Danielle Jawando  (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)  

Boy, Everywhere by A M Dassu (Old Barn Books)  

Wonderland by Juno Dawson (Quercus Children’s Books)  

Hideous Beauty by William Hussey (Usborne)  

Hijab and Red Lipstick by Yousra Imran (Hashtag Press)  

Crown of Crowns by Clara Loveman (Clara Loveman)  

Love Frankie by Jacqueline Wilson (Penguin Random House Children’s) 

Adult Fiction 

The First Woman by Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi (Oneworld)  

If I Don't Have You by Sareeta Domingo (Jacaranda)  

A More Perfect Union by Tammye Huf (Myriad Editions)  

Broadwater by Jac Shreeves-Lee (Fairlight Books)  

Ugly Dogs Don’t Cry by D D Armstrong (Jacaranda)  

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud (Faber)  

The Street Hawker's Apprentice by Kabir Kareem-Bello (Jacaranda)  

The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley (Atlantic Books)  

The Family Tree by Sairish Hussain (HQ)

Truth be Told by Kia Abdullah (HQ)