The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

The inaugural Sceptre Bookshop Award shortlist announced

Hachette UK and the Booksellers Association are delighted to announce the shortlist for the inaugural Sceptre Bookshop Award for stores that make an outstanding contribution to their community:

Booka Bookshop, Shropshire
Bookbugs and Dragon Tales, Norwich
Burley Fisher, Hackney, East London
Category Is Books, Glasgow    Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Housmans Bookshop, Caledonian Road, North London
Kett's Books, Wymondham, Norfolk
Winstone's Hunting Raven, Frome, Somerset

The Sceptre Bookshop Award recognises that bookshops are much more than a retail space, often functioning as valuable community hubs that encourage personal connection and create vital local networks that greatly enrich the lives of the people they serve. The award was created to celebrate the publication of Noreena Hertz’s The Lonely Century: Coming Together in a World that's Pulling Apart, published by Sceptre on 10th September 2020. Criteria include community engagement, work with schools, charities and other local bodies, local initiatives and events.

A prize fund total of £5,000 will be split between three winning bookshops, with a first prize of £2,500, and two runner-up prizes of £1,250 each. The winning bookshop will also be given the opportunity to host an event with Noreena Hertz. All high street bookshops in the UK and Ireland are eligible. Winners will be announced ahead of Bookshop Day on 3rd October. 

Juliet Brooke, Sceptre Associate Publisher, said: “Community is perhaps an over-used word when we talk about bookshop activity on local high streets but it’s a crucial part of what bookshops do – place-making, creating social cohesion and improving the cultural and events landscape of their towns and cities.”

Meryl Halls, MD of the Booksellers Association, said: “We are delighted to see the Sceptre Bookshop Award come to fruition with such a strong shortlist of bookshops who are really extending themselves to be outstanding bookshops in their own communities.  Though the evidence for all the bookshops who applied was pre-COVID, we know that the energy and innovation amongst booksellers is undimmed by the pandemic and we remain proud and inspired by all these brilliant bookshops do and how hard they work.  The Award was announced by Noreena Hertz at last year’s BA Conference, which adds a special poignancy to the prize, as we are unable to gather this year  - and we are so grateful to Noreena and to Sceptre for their ongoing  support for indies who are making a difference to their communities in the most challenging circumstances.”