East Anglian Book Awards 2022 shortlist revealed
Celebrating the very best of publishing, writing and reading in the region

The shortlist for the coveted East Anglian Book Awards 2022 has been revealed, celebrating the very best of publishing, writing, and reading in the region.

Now in their fifteenth year, the awards celebrate writing talent within the East of England. The East Anglian Book Awards are a partnership between Jarrold, the Eastern Daily Press, and the National Centre for Writing, supported by UEA Faculty of Arts & Humanities.

The shortlisted titles are:

Biography & Memoir

Judged by Cassia Hayward-Fitch, PhD researcher in American Studies, University of East Anglia

  • Iron Man by Lynne Bryan (Salt Publishing)
  • Constable: A Portrait by James Hamilton (Orion)
  • Sea-Change by Jessica Streeting (Propolis)


Judged by Joe Williams, journalist and PhD researcher, University of East Anglia

  • Your Show by Ashley Hickson-Lovence (Faber)
  • The Bewitching by Jill Dawson (Hodder & Stoughton)
  • Stewkey Blues: Stories by D. J. Taylor (Salt Publishing)

General Non-Fiction

Judged by Sabina Dosani, PhD researcher in Creative and Critical Writing, University of East Anglia

  • Hello, Stranger by Will Buckingham (Granta)
  • The Art of Doris and Anna Zinkeisen by Nicola Evans, Philip Kelleway and Emma Roodhouse (Unicorn Publishing)
  • Creating Constable by Caleb Howgego and Emma Roodhouse (Colchester and Ipswich Museums Services)

History & Tradition

Judged by Amanda Dillon, lecturer in history, University of East Anglia and manages the academic journal European History Quarterly

  • Some Splendid Noise: 70 years of Aldeburgh Music Club, 1952 – 2022 by David Edwards (Gresham Publications)
  • Wingfield: Suffolk’s Forgotten Castle by Elaine Murphy (Poppyland Publishing)
  • The Great Thorpe Railway Disaster 1874: Heroes, Victims, Survivors by Phyllida Scrivens (Pen & Sword Books)

The Mal Peet Children’s Award

Judged by Tom Smith, author, editor and professor of American Literature, University of East Anglia

  • Arthur: the Always King by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Walker Books)
  • The Other Side of the Whale Road by K.A. Hayton (Eye Books)
  • Spark by Mitch Johnson (Hachette)


Judged by Jake Reynolds, poet and PhD researcher, University of East Anglia

  • Boudicca by Matt Haw (Templar Poetry)
  • Ovarium by Joanna Ingham (The Emma Press)
  • Deception Island by Elizabeth Lewis-Williams (Story Machines)

Of the 18 shortlisted titles, two are published by Cromer-based independent publishers Salt, and two are co-written by Emma Roodhouse, an art curator and researcher based at Colchester & Ipswich Museums Service.

Jessica Streeting, who lives in Cromer, balances a career in school and public health nursing with writing. Her memoir Sea-Change is shortlisted for the Biography & Memoir category. She said:

‘My book Sea-Change is born and bred in Norfolk and I’m grateful to publisher Henry Layte and the Propolis team for taking the risk with an epic poem memoir, whose journey since publication has already been so ‘rich and strange’. Thank you!’

Thomas Smith, who judged the The Mal Peet Children’s Award, said:

‘It has been an eye-opening privilege to immerse myself in the richness of writing for children that is rooted in this region — from both established voices and brand-new talents. Whether introducing young readers to unfamiliar visions of the places they think they know well or using the region as a springboard into other times and other realms, East Anglia can boast an amazing range of writers and illustrators working in this vital genre.’

K.A. Hayton, who is based in Suffolk, has been shortlisted for the The Mal Peet Children’s Award for her book The Other Side of the Whale Road. She said:

‘My home county of Suffolk – its landscape and history and myth – runs through The Other Side of the Whale Road like a heartbeat, so it’s incredibly special to me that the story has been shortlisted in the children’s category of the East Anglian book award.’

The winning book from each category will be considered by a final judging panel of representatives from Jarrold, Eastern Daily Press, National Centre for Writing and University of East Anglia. One of these six finalists will go on to win the Book of the Year Award with prize money of £1,000, courtesy of the PACCAR Foundation.

The category winners will be announced in the Eastern Daily Press in January, followed by the Overall Book of the Year Award and Exceptional Contribution Award on Friday 17 February.

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