The shortlist for the 2020 Branford Boase Award is announced today, Thursday 30th April 2020. This prize is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children. Uniquely, it also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.
Founded to commemorate author Henrietta Branford and influential Walker Books editor Wendy Boase, the Branford Boase Award is recognised as one of the most important awards in children’s books with an impressive record in identifying outstanding authors at the start of their careers. Winners and shortlisted authors include Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Philip Reeve, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Frances Hardinge, Patrick Ness and Marcus Sedgwick.
The shortlist for the 2020 award is as follows:
- Little Badman and the Invasion of the Killer Aunties by Humza Arshad and Henry White, edited by Holly Harris and Sharan Matharu, illus Aleksei Bitskoff (Puffin)
- The Space We’re In by Katya Balen, edited by Lucy Mackay-Sim, illus Laura Carlin (Bloomsbury)
- A Pocketful of Stars by Aisha Bushby, edited by Liz Bankes and Sarah Levison (Egmont)
- Bearmouth by Liz Hyder, edited by Sarah Odedina (Pushkin Press)
- A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, edited by Lindsey Heaven (Electric Monkey)
- Frostheart by Jamie Littler, edited by Naomi Colthurst (Puffin)
- The Million Pieces of Neena Gill by Emma Smith-Barton, edited by Naomi Colthurst (Penguin)
This year’s judges are
- Sue Bastone, vice-chair SLA
- Victoria Dilly, creator of the Book Activist blog
- Layla Hudson of Round Table Books, Brixton
- Muhammad Khan, author of I Am Thunder, winner of the 2019 Branford Boase Award
The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s director of the Hay Festival.
The winner of the Branford Boase Award would normally be announced at a ceremony in London in early July. This year the announcement of the winner has been delayed until 24th September. The winning author receives a cheque for £1,000 and both author and editor receive an inscribed crystal plaque.