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Longlist for the 2022 Branford Boase Award announced with record number of entries

The longlist for the 2022 Branford Boase Award is announced today, Wednesday 26 January 2022. Set up in memory of award-winning author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children.

It has a notable record in picking out the most talented authors at the start of their career. Past winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge, M G Leonard and Philip Reeve.

Uniquely, the Branford Boase Award also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.

This year a record number of books were submitted, and here is the 2021 Branford Boase Award longlist in full:

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-ÍyÍmídé, edited by Becky Walker 

Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen, edited by Carmen McCullough and Tricia Lin 

Rapids by Anna Bowles, edited by Elaine Bousfield 

Love is for Losers by Wibke Bruegemann, edited by Rachel Petty

Freddy vs School by Neill Cameron, edited by Anthony Hinton 

Danny Chung Does Not Do Maths by Maisie Chan, edited by Georgia Murray 

The Girl Who … by Andreina Cordani, edited by Olivia Hutchings 

Me, My Dad, and the End of the Rainbow by Benjamin Dean, edited by Lucy Rogers 

The Upper World by Femi Fadugba, edited by Emma Jones, Stephanie Stein & Asmaa Isse 

The Book of Stolen Dreams by David Farr, edited by Rebecca Hill 

29 Locks by Nicola Garrard, edited by Joan Deitch 

Maggie Blue and the Dark World by Anna Goodall, edited by Bella Pearson

Circus Maximus Race to the Death by Annalise Gray, edited by Fiona Kennedy 

Emmy Levels Up by Helen Harvey edited by Clare Whitson

The Amazing Edie Eckhart by Rosie Jones, edited by Polly Lyall Grant, illustrated by Natalie Smillie

The Hatmakers by Tamzin Merchant, edited by Natalie Doherty 

Grow by Luke Palmer, edited by Penny Thomas 

The Valley of Lost Secrets by Lesley Parr, edited by Zöe Griffiths 

The Peculiar Tale of the Tentacle Boy by Richard Pickard, edited by Kesia Lupo 

Digger and Me by Ros Roberts, edited by Ella Whiddett 

The Boy who Made Everyone Laugh by Helen Rutter, edited by Lauren Fortune

Grimwood by Nadia Shireen, edited by Ali Dougal 

Something I Said by Ben Bailey Smith, edited by Ellen Holgate 

The Ice Whisperers by Helenka Stachera, edited by Emma Jones 

The Lightning Catcher by Clare Weze, edited by Lucy Mackay-Sim 

This year the judges are Struan Murray, author and winner of the 2021 Branford Boase Award; critic Imogen Russell Williams; Farrah Serroukh, Research and Development Director CLPE; and Sonia Thompson, Headteacher at St Matthew’s C.E. Primary School, Birmingham. The judging panel will be chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children's director of the Hay Festival.

Julia Eccleshare says, ‘We are thrilled to announce record numbers of entries for the 2022 Branford Boase Award and excited that our longlist reflects the current dynamic state of publishing for children in the UK. The pace of change in children’s books since the creation of the Branford Boase Award has been phenomenal and once again, we find debut authors covering new territory, encouraged and supported by their editors. We are pleased too to see independent publishers Guppy Books, Hope Road and Zuntold represented for the first time. As ever, our judges bring a wealth of experience, and we are looking forward to what is certain to be a very lively discussion at the shortlisting meeting."

If you'd like to gain a better understanding of what the Branford Boase Award is all about, you can view the 2021 Award Winners Ceremony which we delivered as part of the LoveReading LitFest last year. It includes an interview with Struan Murphy and his editor Ben Horslen about the 2021 winning book Orphans of the Tide.

Orphans of the Tide

The Branford Boase Award is sponsored by Walker Books.

The shortlist for the Award will be announced on Thursday 28 April 2022.  The winner will be announced on 14 July 2022 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 Monday 7 February 2022.

For further information please contact Andrea Reece on 07807893369 or


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