East Anglian Book Awards Shortlist 2019
Celebrating the very best of publishing, writing and reading in the region.

The shortlist for the coveted East Anglian Book Awards 2019 has been revealed. With over 90 eligible books submitted by more than 60 publishers, the judges have whittled down the list to just 3 entries per category.

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

The Shortlist

Biography & Memoir

Judged by Chris Rushby, former Book Buyer at Jarrold


 width=Eye on the Hill: Horse Travels in Britain by Richard Barnes (Frontier)

This is one of the most captivating books in modern equestrian literature. It is poetry, set to the sound of a horse’s gentle clip-clop.





 width=The Easternmost House by Juliet Blaxland (Sandstone)

A stunning memoir, describing a year on the Easternmost edge of England, and exploring how we can preserve delicate ecosystems and livelihoods in the face of rapid coastal erosion and environmental change.





 width=The Photographer at Sixteen by George Szirtes (Maclehose)

It reveals a life from the depths of its final days to the comparable safety of its childhood. It is a book born of curiosity, of guilt and of love.







Judged by Dr Kate Mattocks, UEA


 width=I Thought I Knew You by Penny Hancock (Mantle)

For fans of He Said/She Said and Anatomy of a Scandal, Penny Hancock’s I Thought I Knew You is about secrets and lies – and whose side you take when it really matters.






 width=The Rumour by Lesley Kara (Corgi)

When single mum Joanna shares a rumour at the school gates – desperate to ingratiate herself with the clique of mothers at her son’s new school – there is no going back . . .






 width=How It Ends by Saskia Sarginson (Piatkus)

A sweeping and turbulent drama about the anxieties of post-war Britain, where one strong and inspirational young woman looks to find her place, no matter the cost…






General Non-Fiction

Judged by Christine Webber, author


 width=A Claxton Diary: Further Field Notes from a Small Planet by Mark Cocker (Jonathan Cape)

From the marvellous to the macabre, Cocker tries to capture nature without flinching and in its entirety.






 width=Landscape of Towers by Clive Dunn (Lasse Press)

This book celebrates in photographs and prose Norfolk’s ruined, redundant, lost, forgotten and remote churches and other religious buldilngs in a county-wide record.



 width=Wings Over Water by Alan Marshall (Mascot Media)

Wings Over Water gathers together the linocuts, etchings, engravings, woodcuts, screenprints and collagraphs of 50 printmakers with an enthusiasm for all forms of water bird.



History & Tradition

Judged by Prof. Katy Cubitt, UEA


 width=From Bears to Bishops: Norfolk’s Medieval Church Carvings by Paul Harley (Mascot Media)

Animals, mythical creatures. religious scenes, working people, angels and demons can be found in this collection that covers more than 60 ancient churches and 120 pages.



 width=A Very Dangerous Locality by Robert Liddiard and David Sims (University of Hertfordshire Press)

This book examines the landscape archaeology of the Second World War on the section of the east coast of England known as the Suffolk Sandlings (the coastal strip from Lowestoft to Felixstowe), an area unusually rich in military archaeology.




 width=Crossing the Bar by Robert Smith with Zoe Dunford (Harbour Master)

As long-serving Harbour Master and former lifeboatman, the stories Robert Smith tells in this landmark book capture the soul of Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast.

The Mal Peet Children’s Award

Judged by Rowan Mantell, Archant


 width=Between Worlds: Folktales of Britain and Ireland by Kevin Crossley-Holland (Walker)

Ancient, rich, and strange, these magical and eerie tales from across Britain and Ireland have been passed down from generation to generation.






 width=Grumpy Duck by Joyce Dunbar and Petr Horacek (Walker)

A funny farmyard tale about friendship from Joyce Dunbar, illustrated by award-winning artist Petr Horacek with his trademark colourful flair.




 width=How to Help a Hedgehog and Protect a Polar Bear by Jess French and Angela Keoghan (Nosy Crow)

In this beautifully illustrated book, children (and adults!) can learn about thirteen different habitats – gardens, hedgerows, heathlands, woodlands, highlands, wetlands, the coastline, freshwater, oceans, savannahs, jungles and mountains – and simple everyday ways to protect them.


Judged by Matt Howard, author and winner of the EABA Poetry Award 2018


 width=Girl by Rebecca Goss (Carcanet)

The poems interrogate and celebrate female identity and experience, and the dynamics of family and friendship.







 width=The Built Moment by Lavinia Greenlaw (Faber)

The first section, ‘The Sea is an Edge and an Ending’, is a sequence of poems about her father’s dementia and his disappearance into the present tense. The second section, ‘The Bluebell Horizontal’, looks towards possibility, and proposes new frameworks in the face of loss.




 width=The Anatomical Venus by Helen Ivory (Bloodaxe)

Helen Ivory’s new collection examines how women have been portrayed as ‘other’; as witches; as hysterics with wandering wombs and as beautiful corpses cast in wax, or on mortuary slabs in TV box sets.

The main prize of £1,000 will be awarded to the overall East Anglian Book of the Year, courtesy of the PACCAR Foundation, which is chosen from the six winners of the subject categories (Fiction, Biography and Memoir, History and Tradition, General Non-Fiction, Poetry, and the Mal Peet Children’s Award).

Since the awards launched in 2008, they have highlighted the works of approximately 150 authors, 200 titles, and more than 100 publishers.To qualify, works must be set largely in East Anglia or be written by an author living in the region – which is defined as Norfolk and Suffolk, Essex and area of Fenland District Council.

Books must have been physically published for the first time between July 28, 2018 and July 26, 2019 – and must have been commercially available in physical bookshops.

Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Writing, said:

“This is the twelfth year of the East Anglian Book Awards, and what a promising year it has been so far. We’ve received over 90 books from more than 60 publishers, showing once again that the creativity and talent of our region is truly flourishing.

We’re incredibly excited by the shortlist that the judges have selected this year – these are stories that give life and voice to East Anglia’s past, present and future.”

Discover who the winners of this year’s Awards are – as well as the winner of the East Anglian Book of the Year Award – at the East Anglian Book Awards 2019 and Jarrold Literary Lunch on Friday 15 November, at Norwich City Football Club >>

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