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Press release: The Diverse Book Awards Shortlist Announced Today

Press release - Wednesday 30thSeptember 2020


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The Diverse Book Awards Shortlist Announced


London, United Kingdom, 30thSeptember 2020:More than 50 submissions were received for the first ever Diverse Book Awards created by writing community The Author School ( Today, the eagerly anticipated shortlist is officially unveiled revealing the outstanding diverse and inclusive books published by British/UK-based authors/publishers in 2019. The winners in the categories of Children's, Young Adult (YA) and Adult will be announced at an online award ceremony on 22ndOctober 2020.


Helen Lewis and Abiola Bello, co-founders of The Author School and The Diverse Book Awards, say:"The support and love for The Diverse Book Awards in its first year has been heart-warming. We are happy to see so much support for these diverse and inclusive titles and hope that the shortlist gets even more attention - they all deserve it."


Sponsored by Pen & Inc CILIP's magazine and listings guide to celebrate diversity and inclusion in children's publishing (, Hashtag BLAK, the new diverse and inclusive traditional imprint under Hashtag Press (, bookshop This Is Book Love ( and award-winning book publicity agency Literally PR (


The 2020 judges were:

  • 14-year-old Rebekah Banda from South-East London
  • 15-year-old Alicia Cruz from North-West London (Rebekah and Alicia will only judge the Children's and YA)
  • Luisa María Negret, Hashtag BLAK Commissioning Editor
  • Samantha Williams, Founder of This is Book Love
  • Rob Green, Editor of Pen & Inc magazine
  • Caroline Fielding, Chartered School Librarian, CILIP YLG London Committee & National representative


The three winners from each category will receive a bundle of prizes including a trophy, a six-month PR and marketing membership of Literally PR's ‘100 Club', This Is Book Love bookshop listing, editorial in Pen & Inc, the opportunity to be part of an author panel event to be hosted by The Author School, and to be part of the Margate Bookie online festival program in November alongside Helen Lewis and Abiola Bello.


The Diverse Book Awards Shortlist

Children's Fiction

My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated by Allen Fatimaharan (Faber & Faber)

Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet by Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik (Hodder)

Son of the Circus by E. L. Norry (Scholastic)

The Star Outside My Window by Onjali Q. Rauf (Orion Children's Books)

Tin Boy by Steve Cole, illustrated by Oriol Vidal (Barrington Stoke)


Young Adult Fiction

All The Things We Never Said by Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)

Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story by Sue Cheung (Andersen Press)

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta (Hodder)

The Boxer by Nikesh Shukla (Hodder)

The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Hachette)


Adult Fiction

Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Simon & Schuster)

Golden Child by Claire Adam (Faber & Faber)

Living The Dream by Isabelle Dupuy (Jacaranda)

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik (Zaffre/Bonnier)


Notes to editors

Abiola Bello and Helen Lewis are available for media interviews.

Award enquiries

Media enquiries


Online links: