The search is on for the best books from the East of England


Submissions for the 2020 East Anglian Book Awards, which celebrate the outstanding literary culture of our region, are now open.

Now in their thirteenth year, the East Anglian Book Awards recognise the books and writers who have been shaped by, and have helped to shape, the culture of the East of England.

Since the awards began, they have highlighted the work of over 150 authors, 200 titles and more almost 100 publishers. Previous winner Sarah Perry went on to win the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and became a Waterstones Book of the Year.

The award partners are the Norwich-based National Centre for Writing, the University of East Anglia, Jarrold and the Eastern Daily Press. They are supported by the PACCAR Foundation.

Award categories

We welcome entries in the following categories:

  • Fiction
  • Poetry
  • History and Tradition
  • Biography and Memoir
  • General Non-Fiction
  • Children’s Books

We welcome illustrated books in every category.

A winner from each of the six subject categories will be chosen; one of which will receive the overall East Anglian Book of the Year Award, with a top prize of £1,000 courtesy of the PACCAR Foundation.

This year will also see the return of the ‘Exceptional Contribution Award’ in local publishing, as well as the ‘Book by the Cover’ design award, sponsored by East Anglian Writers.


To qualify works must be set largely in East Anglia or be written by an author living in the region, which for the Awards’ purposes is defined as the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and the area of Fenland District Council. A map detailing the eligibility region is available here.

Books must have been physically published for the first time between 27 July 2019 and 24 July 2020, and must have been commercially available in bookshops. Books available only as eBooks, or solely from online retailers, are not eligible.

How to enter

Submissions for the 2020 Awards are now closed.

All titles will be considered before the judges draw up their list for each category.

The organisers reserve the right to withdraw or amend any category depending on the number of entries received. Due to the volume of entries, we regret that we are not able to give feedback to entrants.

This shortlist will be published in the Eastern Daily Press, Evening News, East Anglian Daily Times and online. Shortlisted authors or their publishers will also be informed directly.

Please see below for frequently asked questions.

Frequently asked questions

Is the area that I live in, or the area my book is set in, eligible for the awards?

For the Awards’ purposes, East Anglia is defined as the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex, and the area of Fenland District Council. Please visit this map and click on the map pins, which will reveal the outline of the areas comprising the East Anglian Book Awards eligibility region.

How do I apply for the East Anglian Book Awards 2020?

Full details on how to enter will be revealed on Saturday 4 July 2020 when submissions open.

Why are you only accepting digital entries to the awards this year?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the National Centre for Writing, Jarrold, and Eastern Daily Press offices have all either been closed or adapted to meet social distancing requirements, with most staff working from home. Therefore, we are unable to accept postal entries or deliveries for this year’s award.

Can I submit a self-published book to the East Anglian Book Awards?

Yes, self-published books are eligible for these awards, providing they have been commercially available in physical bookshops, and are available to buy in hard copy as well as e-book form.

I live between two (or more) addresses, and only one of them is in East Anglia. Do I qualify for the awards?

Yes, as long as your primary place of residence is located in East Anglia.

Are translated works eligible for the awards?

Translated works are eligible for the awards, as long as the original author of the work is an East Anglian resident, or if the book is largely set in East Anglia. Books whose translators alone are residents of East Anglia are not eligible for the awards.

The work must have been translated into English and must be available in bookshops in the UK, in hard copy format.

Are books written by more than one author eligible for the awards?

Yes, books with multiple authors are eligible as long as the book is set in, or about, East Anglia, or the primary author is a resident of East Anglia.

Can one author enter multiple books in the same year?

Yes, an author can enter as many books as they have published within the date parameters of the award (27 July 2019 – 31 July 2020).

Can I enter my book into more than one category?

Books can only be submitted into one category for the awards, so you will need to decide which best fits your book, and indicate this on the online entry form. Books entered into more than one category will not be considered.

Why is Cambridge not included in the eligibility region?

The East Anglian Book Awards is a partnership between National Centre for Writing, Jarrold, and the Eastern Daily Press, supported by UEA. The region of East Anglia is defined for these awards by the distribution area of the Eastern Daily Press and its affiliated publications.

I wrote my book while I was living in East Anglia, but I no longer reside there. Am I still eligible?

You must reside in East Anglia at the time of submission in order to be eligible, or, the book must be largely set in East Anglia.

Are illustrated books eligible for the awards?

Yes, we accept illustrated works into all categories of the awards.

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