Winners 2018

The winners of the coveted East Anglian Book Awards 2018 were revealed on Friday 23 November at a literary lunch and celebration of regional writing and publishing held at Norwich City Football Club.

Now in its 11th year, the awards celebrate the regional writing talent within the East of England.

The Exceptional Contribution Award 2018 was presented to Marilyn Brocklehurst, founder of the Norfolk Children’s Book Centre based in Alby, Norfolk. Marilyn created the centre over 30 years ago. After a career working in Library Services, Marilyn had a dream to set up the ‘ideal bookshop for children.’ With over 50,000 books, and comfortable areas for reading, the centre welcomes hundreds of visitors each year from all over the country. The judging panel said the reward recognised Marilyn’s ‘unstinting passion and energy and her lifetime dedication to children’s literature in East Anglia.’

The overall Book of the Year Award went to celebrated nature writer Jules Pretty for The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore. He received £1,000, generously supported by the PACCAR Foundation.

The East Country is a work of creative non-fiction which mixes memoir, natural history, cultural critique and spiritual reflection into a single compelling narrative. It follows the seasons through 74 tales set in a variety of landscapes, from valley to salty shore.

It was also an afternoon of celebration for the 2018 category winners:

  • History & Tradition: This Hollow Land: Aspects of Norfolk Folklore by Peter Tolhurst (Black Dog Books)
  • Biography & Memoir: The Lady Lord Mayors of Norwich 1923 – 2017 by Phyllida Scrivens (Pen & Sword)
  • The Mal Peet Children’s Award: Kick by Mitch Johnson (Usborne)
  • General Non-Fiction: The East Country: Almanac Tales of Valley and Shore by Jules Pretty (Comstock)
  • Poetry: Gall by Matt Howard (Rialto)
  • Fiction: Devoured by Anna Mackmin (Propolis)

The ‘Book by the Cover’ Award, sponsored by East Anglian Writers for the best-designed cover of the shortlisted titles, went to Niki Medlik for Devoured.

The ceremony also featured speeches from special guests Simon Scarrow, Carl Gorham and Rebecca Stott, winner of the 2017 Costa Biography Award.