The longlist for the 2023 Branford Boase Award has been announced. The annual Branford Boase Award celebrates the most promising book for seven-year-olds and upwards written by a first-time novelist and also highlights the importance of the editor in the development of new authors.
Past winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve and most recently Maisie Chan.
The longlist of 21 features fantasy novels, including bestseller Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman, edited by Ali Dougal; accomplished coming-of-age YA novels; a Georgian-era crime adventure; and The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks by Emily Kenny, edited by Katie Jennings, longlisted for the new Adrien Prize for novels giving a positive portrayal of a character with a disability.
For the third year running over 60 books were submitted and from 28 different publishers. The shortlist for the Award will be announced on Thursday 27 April 2023. The winner will be announced on 13 July 2023 at an award ceremony in London.
The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, will open on Tuesday 7 February 2023.
The 2023 Branford Boase Award longlist
The Bones of Me by Kel Duckhouse, edited by Harriet Birkinshaw (Flying Eye Books)
The Eternal Return of Clara Hart by Louise Finch, edited by Siobhàn Parkinson (Little Island Books)
Running Out of Time by Simon Fox, edited by Tom Bonnick (Nosy Crow)
The Spectaculars by Jodie Garnish, edited by Becky Walker and Alice Moloney (Usborne)
The Miraculous Sweetmakers by Natasha Hastings, edited by Michelle Misra (HarperCollins Children's Books), illustrated by Alex T. Smith
The Whisperling by Hayley Hoskins, edited by Katie Sinfield (Puffin)
Wishes Come in Threes by Andy Jones, edited by Non Pratt (Walker Books)
The Extraordinary Adventures of Alice Tonks by Emily Kenny, edited by Katie Jennings (Rock the Boat)
Seed by Caryl Lewis, edited by Sarah Hughes (Macmillan Children's Books), illustrated by George Ermos
Rebel Skies by Ann Sei Linn, edited by Gráinne Clear (Walker Books)
Mia and the Lightcasters by Janelle McCurdy, edited by Leah Thaxton (Faber)
Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna, edited by Felicity Alexander (Welbeck Flame)
Rapunzella, or Don't Touch My Black Hair by Ella McLeod, edited by Yasmin Morrissey and Genevieve Herr (Scholastic)
The Cats We Meet Along the Way by Nadia Mikail, edited by Bella Pearson (Guppy Books)
The Bird Singers by Eve Wersocki Morris, edited by Jenna Mackintosh (Hodder Children's Books)
Ellie Pillai is Brown by Christine Pillainayagam, edited by Leah Thaxton (Faber)
The Haunting of Tyrese Walker by J.P. Rose, edited by Chloe Sackur (Andersen Press)
If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So, edited by Mattie Whitehead (Little Tiger)
Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman, edited by Ali Dougal (Simon and Schuster)
The Map of Leaves by Yarrow Townsend, edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)
The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries by J.T. Williams, edited by Liz Bankes and Aleena Hasan (Farshore)
Chair of the judges and co-founder of the Branford Boase Award, Julia Eccleshare says, "The Branford Boase Award highlights the most exciting new authors for children, but it also reflects the current complexion of literature for young people. We are excited that this year's longlist includes such a wide variety of voices, of subjects and themes, representing contemporary children's publishing at its best."
This year's judges are Maisie Chan, author and winner of the 2022 Branford Boase Award; critic Joanne Owen; Darren Matthews, Primary Advisory Teacher at the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education; and Sajeda Amir, English teacher and KS3 coordinator at Levenshulme High School, Manchester. The judging panel will be chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children's director of the Hay Festival.
The Branford Boase Award is delivered in partnership with the Authors' Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) and supported by Walker Books.
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