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4th Diverse Book Awards Longlist Announced + New Readers' Choice Award


Press release - Embargoed until midday (UK time) on Monday 31stJuly 2023


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Fourth Diverse Book Awards Longlist Announced PLUS New Readers' Choice Award

Introducing the latest, must-read list of diverse & inclusive picture, children's, YA and adult fiction books in the UK and Ireland



London, United Kingdom, 31stJuly 2023:Nominations reached a record high this year in the fourth Diverse Book Awards. With a new category of Picture Books added to the line-up, 160 books were submitted across the awards covering Children's, Young Adult and Adult Fiction.


Following a hugely successful prize in 2022, The Diverse Book Awards, created by publishing entrepreneurs Abiola Bello (award-winning author) and Helen Lewis (prize-winning publicist), continues to evolve to become ever more inclusive and interactive. This year, readers in schools, libraries, book clubs, and homes across the country, are invited to vote for their number one winner in each of the four longlisted categories as part of The Readers' Choice Award. Votes will close on 28thSeptember (when the shortlist will be unveiled) and the winners will be confirmed at the awards party on October 25that Waterstones Piccadilly in London. Teachers, booksellers and librarians are already showing their support for this new addition to The Diverse Book Awards as a way of encouraging people to support the full longlist - and to help shine a spotlight on the longlisted books and authors/illustrators for longer.




Today, as the fourth Diverse Book Awards longlist is officially uncovered, the hope is that the lists will become essential reading on a national level, highlighting the outstanding diverse and inclusive books published by authors based in the UK and Ireland during 2023.


Abiola Bello, co-founder of The DBAs: "The standard for the awards is always really high but this year in particular blew me away! So many books were deserving of the top 12 and there are even some that I loved but there just wasn't enough space for them. The Adult category in particular was huge, and I got to discover some new authors. Authors are writing so many brilliant diverse books and the variety this year was amazing to read. It was great to see a range of big and indie publishers. There's a book for everyone on the longlist. We need to make sure we're doing all we can to support them. And a massive thank you to the judges for helping us create the longlist!"


Helen Lewis, co-founder of The DBAs: "Our Awards are bigger than ever this year; not just in terms of the number of books nominated - up year on year since we started in 2020 - but in terms of the addition of a Picture Book category, as well as our newly-announced Readers' Choice Award. We have listened to feedback from teachers, librarians, and readers - they wanted to support the award further and this seems like a great way of giving a voice those who actively champion diverse books."


The Diverse Book Awards Longlist 2023


Adult Longlist

Here Again Nowby Okechukwu Nzelu (Dialogue Books)

Losing The Plotby Derek Owusu (Canongate Books)

Love Marriageby Monica Ali (Virago)

News At Noonby Anietie Isong (Jacaranda)

One for Sorrow, Two for Joyby Marie-Claire Amuah (Oneworld)

Still Livesby Reshma Ruia (Renard Press)

Someday, Maybeby Onyi Nwabineli (Magpie)

The Attic Childby Lola Jaye (Pan Macmillan)

These Impossible Thingsby Salma El-Wardany (Trapeze)

Wahalaby Nikki May (Doubleday)

Who's Loving You: Love Stories by Women of Colour, edited by Sareeta Domingo(Trapeze)

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzbandby Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (Viking)



Young Adult Longlist

Bad Things Happen Hereby Rebecca Barrow (Hot Key Books)

Blood to Poisonby Mary Watson (Bloomsbury)

Cuts Both Waysby Candice Brathwaite (Quercus Children's Books)

Gay Club!by Simon James Green (Scholastic)

If You Still Recognise Meby Cynthia So (Little Tiger)

Love In Winter Wonderlandby Abiola Bello (Simon & Schuster)

The Haunting of Tyrese Walkerby J.P. Rose (Andersen Press)

The King Is Deadby Benjamin Dean (Simon & Schuster)

The Society for Soulless Girlsby Laura Steven (Electric Monkey, imprint of HarperCollins)

Toxicby Natasha Devon (UCLan Publishing)

When Our Worlds Collidedby Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster)

Why Is Nobody Laughingby Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)


Children's Longlist

A Flash of Firefliesby Aisha Bushby (Farshore)

Ajay and The Mumbai Sunby Varsha Shah (Chicken House)

Future Hero: Race To Fire Mountainby Remi Blackwood (Scholastic)

Keep Dancing, Lizzie Chuby Maisie Chan (Piccadilly Press)

Kiki Kallira Conquers A Curseby Sangu Mandanna (Hodder Children's Books)

 Marv and The Dino Attacksby Alex Falase-Koya, illustrated by Paula Bowles (Oxford University Press)

Mia and the Lightcastersby Janelle McCurdy, illustrated by Ana Latese (Faber Children's)

Sadéand her Shadow Beastsby Rachel Faturoti, illustrated by Rumbidzai Savanhu (Hodder Children's Books)

The Elemental Detectivesby Patrice Lawrence (Scholastic)

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Dangerby J.T. Williams, illustrated by Simone Douglas (Farshore)

The Secret of Haven Pointby Lisette Auton, illustrated byValentina Toro (Puffin)

The Twig Manby Sana Rasoul (Hashtag Press)


Picture Book Longlist

Bookwormsby Nyanda Foday, illustrated by Joelle Avelino (Andersen Press)

Dadaji's Paintbrushby Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Ruchi Mhansane (Andersen Press)

I am NOT a Princeby Rachael Davis, illustrated by Beatrix Hatcher (Orchard Books)

John Agard's Windrush Childby John Agard, illustrated by Sophie Bass (Walker Books)

Me & My Dysphoria Monsterby Laura Kate Dale, illustrator Ang Hui Qing (Jessica Kingsley Publishers)

Nour's Secret Libraryby Wafa Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi (Barefoot Books)

Our Story Starts in Africaby Patrice Lawrence, illustrated by Jeanetta Gonzales (Magic Cat)

Our Towerby Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Richard Johnson (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

Saving The Butterflyby Helen Cooper, illustrated by Gill Smith (Walker Books)

Small's Big Dreamby Manjeet Mann, illustrated by Amanda Quartey (HarperCollins Children's Books)

The Missing Pieceby Jordan Stephens, illustrated by Beth Suzanna (Bloomsbury Children's Books)

You Need To Chillby Juno Dawson, illustrated by Laura Hughes (Farshore)


Notes to editors

Abiola Bello and Helen Lewis are available for media interviews

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Logo, company nameDescription automatically generatedSponsors of The Diverse Book Awards 2023


Book Clubs in Schools - YA Headline Sponsor (


Renaissance Learning- Children's Headline Sponsor  (


Peters - Adult Headline Sponsor (

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Literally PR (


Madeleine Milburn Agency (


World Book Day (


Pen & Inc (


A logo with blue textDescription automatically generatedWigtown YA & BigWig Festivals (


Sparx (


Pen to Print (


The Independent Publishers Guild (


Notes to editors

Abiola Bello and Helen Lewis are available for media interviews

Award enquiries

Media enquiries

Full terms and conditions are available