Bestselling author and bookshop devotee James Patterson has announced the Young Bookseller Special Achievement Award will return for a second year, handing out £20,000 to young booksellers.
The award recognises young booksellers for outstanding contribution and will see 40 young booksellers presented with £500 each. The award commends booksellers aged 30 and under who have worked in a bookshop for a minimum of 12 months. Candidates may be nominated by their managers or colleagues and nominees from all high-street bookshops across Britain and Ireland will be eligible.
Patterson is committed to bringing attention to bookshops, and he is especially concerned with encouraging young people into the industry to continue to inspire lifelong reading.
This is the second consecutive year of the award. Last year 20 booksellers received the award and this year Patterson has increased the recipients to 40 in order to help more young people in the bookselling industry.
Tom McKnight, one of last year’s winners from the Haslemere Bookshop, said: “This award means a massive amount to me as it offers a hopeful future for bookshops all over the UK and Ireland. I know reading will continue to inspire young minds as it always has thanks to awards like this.”
James Patterson’s Young Bookseller Special Achievement Award is the latest of Patterson’s numerous financial donations to support bookshops. In the past five years, Patterson has donated £500,000 to independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland to encourage children to read. This funded projects ranging from refurbishment and expansion of children’s sections to organising a bedtime reading project. And in 2013, Patterson pledged $1million to US bookshops which funded everything from customising a school bus as a mobile bookshop to providing free books for underprivileged children.
He said: “I am inspired by the young booksellers who continue to shape the bookselling industry and encourage young readers. I am thrilled that this award recognises their talent and the important work they do.”
Meryl Halls, m.d. of the Booksellers Association, added: “We are so delighted about this second wave of funding for young booksellers, and so appreciative of James Patterson’s ongoing commitment to this project. It is really wonderful that an author of James’ standing continues to shine a light on the creativity and immense hard work of our young booksellers. I know how proud last year’s cohort were to be awarded, and we were equally proud of them.”
Full terms and conditions will be available on the BA website. Applications open on 21st March and close at the end of April. The winners will be announced on 14th June 2020.