22 November 2016
Political heavyweights Ken Clarke, Alan Johnson and Margaret Hodge join broadcaster Jeremy Paxman and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis on the shortlists for the inaugural Parliamentary Book Awards, the only book awards for parliamentarians, voted for by parliamentarians.
Launched by the Booksellers Association and the Publishers Association, the awards aim to highlight the contribution made by the book and publishing industries to the economy and society.
The three new awards celebrate parliamentary writing across four categories: Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian; Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian; Best Fiction by a Parliamentarian; Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian.
Titles shortlisted for the Parliamentary Book Awards are:
Best Memoir by a Parliamentarian
- Hinterland: A Memoir by Chris Mullin
- Kind of Blue by Ken Clarke
- The Long and Winding Road by Alan Johnson
Best Non-Fiction by a Parliamentarian
- Called to Account by Margaret Hodge
- Game of Spies by Paddy Ashdown
- The Silent Deep:Royal Navy Submarine Service Since 1945 by Peter Hennessy & James Jinks
Best Fiction by a Parliamentarian
- The Angel of Lovely Lane by Nadine Dorries
- Cometh the Hour by Jeffrey Archer
- Now is the Time by Melvyn Bragg
Best Political Book by a non-Parliamentarian
- A Life in Questions by Jeremy Paxman
- And the Weak Suffer What They Must? by Yanis Varoufakis
- Citizen Clem by John Bew
Publishers were invited to nominate books and authors for the awards, and the shortlist was drawn up by booksellers. Voting is now open for parliamentarians to decide the winner in each category.
The awards will be presented at a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons on 6 December.
Stephen Lotinga, the Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said: “The link between publishing and politics can be traced throughout history, from Winston Churchill winning the Nobel Prize in Literature to Baroness Ruth Rendell’s crime thrillers and murder mysteries. These awards celebrate this long tradition which remains strong today. This is an excellent shortlist and we look forward to seeing which works emerge as favourites among parliamentarians themselves.”
Tim Godfray, the Chief Executive of the Booksellers Association, said: “I am always struck when meeting with Parliamentarians just how many have either written a book or express a strong interest in doing so. It seems entirely fitting therefore that we are jointly sponsoring the inaugural Parliamentary Book Awards and Christmas Party with the PA. We would like to extent our thanks to our Sponsor, Gisela Stuart MP. I know that there will be strong competition from some very well-known individuals this year. We expect all attendees to have a thoroughly enjoyable evening, celebrating all that is best about books, authors and publishing. However, at the same time, I hope that our attendees will take the time to reflect on the wider issues at stake in the book world. In order to continue as a vibrant, diverse industry, booksellers in particular need a fairer market to operate, they need a more nuanced understanding of their role in society from Government, and they need an up to date regulatory framework in place to ensure that they are not carrying the can for taxes that could, and should, be paid by others.”
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Notes to Editors
The submission criteria is as follows:
- Books to have been published in the UK in Hardback or Paperback between January 1st 2015 and October 31st 2016
- Books by Parliamentarians to have been written by a current or former MP, Member of the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or Northern Irish Legislative Assembly, MEP or Member of the House of Lords
Political Works by non-Parliamentarians should relate to UK or EU parliamentary politics or politicians. There are no fees attached to entries into the awards.
About The Booksellers Association (BA)
The Booksellers Association is a membership organization for all booksellers in the UK & Ireland, and we represent over 95% of specialist booksellers selling new books. The BA exists to support, advise and work with its members to create excellent products for booksellers. These range from National Book Tokens, our gift card which prompts increased footfall and keeps gift spending in the book trade, and Batch, our award-winning payments service, which saves time, money and hassle when settling invoices and organising returns, to a full range of money-saving affinity deals, a free Business Support Helpline and a whole range of tailored events, marketing and promotional campaign work, including IndieBound, World Book Day, the Christmas Books catalogue and Independent Booksellers Week.
About the Publishers Association
The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Members represent over 80% of the UK publishing industry including global companies such as Elsevier, Wiley, Pearson, Penguin Random House, Hachette and the University presses, as well as many independent publishing houses. www.publishers.org.uk.