Longlists have been revealed for the inaugural Diverse Book Awards, a new prize ceremony recognising inclusivity in children's, YA and adult fiction.
The awards were created by writing community The Author School and received more than 50 submissions in their first year. Authors to make the longlists include Kit de Waal, Onjali Q Raúf and Candice Carty-Williams.
Shortlists will be revealed at the end of September, and the winners in each category announced in October.
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.”
The children's and YA prizes will be judged by a panel including 14-year-old Rebekah Banda from south-east London and 15-year-old Alicia Cruz from north-west London. Other judges include Hashtag BLAK commissioning editor Luisa María Negret, This is Book Love founder Samantha Williams, Pen & Inc editor Rob Green and chair of the CILIP Youth Libraries Group London committee Caroline Fielding.
Green said: “The Diverse Book Awards are such a great thing for us to be involved with. We know that there is a wealth of great talent out there, but many [writers] face real barriers to getting their work seen and published. The Diverse Book Awards will remove some of those barriers, and I'm really excited by the prospect of discovering some fantastic stories and characters.”
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 This Is Book Love bookshop listing, editorial in Pen & Inc, the opportunity to be part of an author panel event to be hosted by The Author School, and to be part of the Margate Bookie online festival programme in November.
The longlists comprise:
Son of the Circus by E L Norry (Scholastic)
My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan (Faber & Faber)
Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik (Hodder)
The Mysterious Melody by S P K-Mushambi, illustrated by Kudzai Gumbo (Naniso Media & Conscious Dreams Publishing)
The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q Raúf (Orion Children’s Books)
Tin Boy by Steve Cole, illustrated by Oriol Vidal (Barrington Stoke)
Toad Attack by Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Becka Moor (Barrington Stoke)
What Can We Be? by Ryan Crawford, illustrator Kayla Coombs (Tiny Tree)
Young Adult Fiction
All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)
Becoming Dinah by Kit de Waal (Orion Children’s Books)
Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story by Sue Cheung (Andersen Press)
Oh My Gods by Alexandra Sheppard (Scholastic)
The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (Hodder)
The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla (Hodder)
The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Hachette)
The Tunnels Below by Nadine Wild-Palmer (Pushkin Children's)
A Book of Secrets by Kate Morrison (Jacaranda)
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Simon & Schuster)
Everything You Ever Wanted by Luiza Sauma (Viking)
Golden Child by Claire Adam (Faber & Faber)
Living The Dream by Isabelle Dupuy (Jacaranda)
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)
The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins (Viking)
This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik (Zaffre)
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