Hachette UK and the Booksellers Association have launched a new £5,000 Sceptre Bookshop Award for stores that make an outstanding contribution to their community.
The award has been created to mark Noreena Hertz’s forthcoming book on isolation The Lonely Century, to be published by Sceptre in May 2020.
Hertz officially launched the award during her keynote address at the Booksellers’ Association Conference at Birmingham’s Aston University today (9th September).
Stores can nominate themselves from the BA’s annual Bookshop Day on 5th October, with the deadline closing on 28th February 2020. Criteria include community engagement, work with schools, charities and other local bodies, local initiatives and events. Full details will be made available on the BA website.
A prize fund total of £5,000 will be split between three winning bookshops, with a first prize of £2,500, and two runner-up prizes of £1,250 each. The winning bookshop will also be given the opportunity to host an event with Hertz. All high street bookshops in the UK and Ireland are eligible.
Winners will be announced at a ceremony in the Sceptre offices at Carmelite House, London, in May 2020, coinciding with the publication month for The Lonely Century.
Hertz said: “Bookshops nourish the soul and spirit of communities across the globe. In these times of increasing isolation, atomisation and disconnection, this is more important than ever. I am honoured that Sceptre, inspired by my thinking and research, have decided to launch this important award that will celebrate the critical role so many bookshops play in bringing us together.”
President of the BA, Nic Bottomley, added: “Community is perhaps an over-used word when we talk about bookshop activity on local high streets but it’s a crucial part of what bookshops do – place-making, creating social cohesion and improving the cultural and events landscape of their towns and cities.”