Parliamentary Book Awards to raise industry profile

Parliamentary Book Awards to raise industry profile

The Booksellers Association and Publishers Association will present three Parliamentary Book Awards at a reception in the House of Commons held to highlight the contribution made by the book industry to the economy and society. 

The awards will celebrate the best works of fiction written by a parliamentarian, and the best work of non-fiction, with the third category being the best work about politics written by a non-parliamentarian. Publishers can nominate titles, and parliamentarians themselves will vote for the winners from a shortlist drawn up by booksellers. 

The reception will take place on 6th December.

The initiative is part of industry efforts to raise awareness among politicians of the value of books and publishing, as lobbyists shift their focus back to Westminster in the light of the upcoming Brexit.

PA chief executive Stephen Lotinga said: "From inspiring box office hits such as Harry Potter and James Bond, to equipping young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy and investing in knowledge, publishing is at the heart of ensuring the UK remains a successful, innovative and creative nation. These awards and reception aim to recognise the contribution publishing makes to the UK's economy and society, while also celebrating the creativity of the people who are at the centre of politics." 

Tim Godfray, chief executive of the BA, said the parliamentary reception was "a fitting way to bring booksellers, publishers and politicians together." He added: "It is important in particular that we recognise the role of booksellers in the book chain and beyond, not just commercially, but in terms of what booksellers contribute to society. We look forward to taking our key messages of fair competition and a more equitable tax system to a wider audience."

Three titles will be shortlisted in each category, with every parliamentarian invited to vote on the winner in each case. There are no fees attached to entries submitted by publishers. 

Books by parliamentarians need to have been written by a current or former MP, a member of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Irish Legislative Assembly, MEP or Member of the House of Lords. Political works by non-parliamentarians, the third award category, should relate to UK or EU parliamentary politics or politicians. All books submitted should have been published in the UK between 1st January 2015 and 31st October 2016.

Publishers are invited to nominate titles here, before a deadline of 21st October.