East Anglian Book Awards 2021

Join us online for a very special (and free!) event with the National Centre for Writing,  in which we welcome the winners of the East Anglian Book Awards 2021 to say a few words and read from their work. During the event we will also reveal the winner of the Book by the Cover Award, Exceptional Contribution Award, and the Book of the Year Award.

This event will take place on YouTube, Thursday 25 November at 6.30pm.


The shortlisted titles are:

Biography & Memoir

Judged by Hilary Emmett, University of East Anglia



Judged by Kate Weston, University of East Anglia


General Non-Fiction

Judged by Richard Delahaye, University of East Anglia


History & Tradition

Judged by Pete Goodrum, writer and broadcaster


The Mal Peet Children’s Award

Judged by Simon Jones, National Centre for Writing, with assistance from his eight-year-old son



Judged by Nathan Hamilton, UEA Publishing Project


Of the 18 shortlisted titles, 12 are from independent publishers or self published.

They will now be considered for the Book by the Cover Award, judged by members of the East Anglian Writers. 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.

Norfolk-based author and illustrator Sangu Mandanna is shortlisted for The Mal Peet Children’s Award. She said:

‘I’m thrilled! East Anglia is my home, and shapes my work every single day, so it’s such an honour to be shortlisted.’

Kate Weston, who judged the Fiction category, said:

‘It’s been an absolute privilege and pleasure to support the East Anglian Book Awards this year in judging the fiction category; with so many wonderful entries encompassing a multitude of fiction genres, these incredible stories really do capture the character and essence of East Anglia and showcase this wonderfully unique region to readers.’

The category winners will be announced in the Eastern Daily Press on Saturday 30 October, followed by the Book by the Cover Award, Exceptional Contribution Award, and the Book of the Year Award on Friday 26 November.

To qualify for the East Anglian Book Awards, works must be set largely in East Anglia or be written by an author living in the region – which is defined as Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and area of Fenland District Council.

Books must have been published for the first time between 25 July 2020 and 30 July 2021 – and be available in physical bookshops.

Discover more about the category winners – as well as the identity of the winner of the East Anglia Book of the Year Award – at a special online event on Thursday 25 November, 6.30pm GMT.

Register for free now