The Clarissa Luard Award for Independent Publishers has been revealed with Lantana Publishing, Little Toller Books, Peepal Tree Press and Penned in the Margins all in the running for the £10,000 prize.
The four-strong shortlist were recognised for their ability to “champion diversity, niche areas and under-served markets in the publishing industry”.
A spokesperson for the prize said: “All four have already forged ahead by way of content, approach, and presentation."
Award judges include the writer Jenn Ashworth, former literary editor at Elle and publisher of Dialogue Books at Little, Brown Book Group, Sharmaine Lovegrove, programme director of St George’s House and former literature director at Arts Council England, Gary McKeone, and Forum Books owner Helen Stanton.
McKeone said all the nominate companies showed “breadth of creativity and innovation”.
He said: “Common to all the contenders is a genuine commitment to getting work to readers and audiences, sometimes via traditional routes, often through imaginative use of technology.”
The award is given to a literary publisher with an annual turnover of less than £1 million. It was founded in 2005 by Arts Council England, in tribute to “a much-loved literature officer” Clarissa Luard. New Writing North took over management of the award this year, which is applied for by open submission.
The winner will be announced alongside the David Cohen Prize for Literature at a ceremony in London on 8th November.