Wenlock Books apprentice wins national competition

Wenlock Books apprentice wins national competition

Jasmine Denholm has won a national competition for the best shop window display of longlisted titles for the Desmond Elliott award. 

The 19-year-old, an apprentice at Wenlock Books in Much Wenlock, has won an evening of champagne and canapés at Fortnum and Mason before attending the Desmond Elliott award for debut novel ceremony in London next week.

Her prize-winning display included props that reflected important aspects of each of the books, from a shopping bag full of tinned peaches to tiny dolls house furniture. The competition was run by The Booksellers Association. 

Jasmine DenholmDenholm said: “I’m very excited about winning. It feels wonderful to receive recognition for something that I enjoyed doing. Tweeting the nominated authors with pictures of their books in the window was especially nice because they were all so kind and excited that we'd taken the time to find out about their books and gather appropriate decorations.”

Denholm, who lives in Cressage with her family, started her apprenticeship at the at Wenlock Books in 2014, after a period of ill health led to depression, agoraphobia and anxiety. “Working in the shop gave me a purpose when I felt the most useless that I've ever felt," she said. "Being given responsibility for real things (like social media, young adult fiction and communicating with William Brookes School) made me feel important, which in turn made me feel confident and proud of my achievements. It's important to me that I work somewhere where everybody is made to feel special because it encourages everyone to be their best self. I'm very lucky to work at Wenlock Books and I appreciate every moment that I spend doing what I love.”

Denholm said she was keen to continue to work in the book industry and was particularly interested in Young Adult literature and social media marketing. 

The £10,000 Desmond Elliott Prize will be revealed on 1st July. Shortlisted authors include Emma Healey, Carys Bray and Claire Fuller.