The Amazing Book Awards

Shoreham Academy, Kingston Lane, Shoreham-by-Sea, BN43 6YT

Important Upcoming Dates

Friday 17th June 2022 - The ABA Awards Night


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Author Archive %s The ABA Team

The Shortlist is here!!

It’s such an amazing list (pun intended)!! Thank you to everyone who voted for it, we couldn’t be happier with your final five.

So now you have until the 27th May to read and vote for your favourite! Have a look in our “How to Vote” section if you need a reminder.

Then you need to “save the date” and join us, either in person or via the zoomie-zoom on Friday 17th June for the ABA Awards Night.

The 2022 Long List is Here!

We are delighted to announce the 2022 Amazing Book Awards Long List, and what a list it is! There were so many wonderful and exiting titles to choose from this year and try as we might we just couldn’t get it down to just 15 books. So we’ve cheated and gone for 19!

The List:

  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Abike-Iyimide
  • A Different sort of Normal by Abigail Balfe
  • Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen
  • The Soul Hunters by Chris Bradford
  • Afterlove by Tanya Byrne
  • What we are Scared of by Keren David
  • Furious Thing by Jenny Downham
  • The Upper World by Femi Fadugba
  • The Outrage by William Hussey
  • Green Rising by Lauren James
  • The World Between Us by Sarah Ann Juckes
  • When the World Was Ours by Liz Kessler
  • Splinters of Sunshine by Patrice Lawrence
  • Grow by Luke Palmer
  • Lock the Doors by Vincent Ralph
  • Smashed by Andy Robb
  • The Summer we Turned Green by William Sutcliffe
  • The Revelry by Katherine Webber
  • The Infinity Files by S. M. Wilson

And we are beyond delighted to announce that the AMAZINGLY BRILLAINT Simon James Green will be our host!

We’re BACK baby!!

Good afternoon!

We are thrilled to get in touch with you about the first phase of this years’ Amazing Book Awards! Following on from our virtual award event last year, we are really looking forward to the chance to meet in person again and give all of our readers an opportunity to meet the authors at this Summer’s awards night, as things used to be!

Firstly we want to say a big thank you to all of you for supporting us and staying on board with the strange covid times that we have had and the impact it had on the awards events. As promised, if you paid last years’ subscription, you are automatically enrolled in the 2022 programme, no questions asked. We have set up a google drive folder where we will again post all the resources as we create them. We will message out as we add items in, for those who do not have access to google drive.

We want to share the timeline for this year’s programmes, so that you can plan accordingly:

As you can see, there are lots of important dates coming up, and we’d love for you all to be as involved as possible.

The first 2 events are key to ensure that we have a brilliant selection of titles that our readers are interested in and will enjoy on our long list, before they vote for the short list. If you and your readers have any recommendations of titles to add to the Long List, please can we have these by Monday 13th December.

We will share the provisional long list with participating schools before the Christmas holiday break. This will be in advance of a meeting for those that can attend (virtually or physically) on Tuesday 11th January, where we will collectively discuss these with your book group as to the titles they would like to see on the official long list in advance of this meeting. We do not expect you or your students to have read the books at this point, but obviously feedback from those that have read them is incredibly useful! We will mainly be looking for what your readers what they think of the blurb of the books, if they are not engaged from the outset, this may be enough to make the difference as to what makes the final cut (usually around 20 titles).

We will follow up with more detail as we go through the year, but do feel free to contact any of us if you have more questions.

If you have not joined us before, or have subscription enquiries, please contact Rachel Johnson

Any school resource enquires or general questions, please contact Sally Baker

Any social media or publisher contact queries, please contact Viv Dacosta

In order for a book to qualify for this years’ awards, they should fit the following criteria:

  • The books must be published between the 1st February 2021 and 31st January 2022. 
  • The books must be in paperback for the first time in the UK. 
  • It must also be either the first in a series or a stand-alone novel and they need be aimed at students in secondary school. (14+ years)

We have asked publishers to submit qualifying titles too, so we often end up with a VERY long provisional list for us to trim to our official long list. Please do share comments from your readers with us to ensure we do get the books that our students will be most excited to find on the final long list. You can share these with us at the Hive Mind meeting in January or share them with us in advance so we can include them on the information spreadsheet that we share with participating schools.


Thank you so much for your ongoing support and enthusiasm. It’s so fantastic to work with people so active in engaging young readers.  You all rock!

Not signed up yet this year? Follow this link: 2022 ABA Subscription Form

Warmest wishes,

The 2021 Awards

Wow!! Where do we start. Okay, so we know 2020 and (if we’re honest) 2021 haven’t exactly been the best few years. But, hay, the ABAs are still going strong, and that’s all down to you guys. You have made these awards what they are, without you all we would be nothing. Thank you for sticking with us. We promise 2022 will be our BIGGEST celebration of the written word yet. Get ready to have your eyeballs dazzled with the shear volume of creative stuff coming your way.

Much love, The ABA Team x

So without further ado, here are your 2020 and 2021 winners!!


Bronze – Viper

Silver – Alex in Wonderand

Gold – A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder


Bronze – The Deathless Girls

Silver – Blood Moon

Gold – Black Flamingo

We hope you are as happy with your winners as we are. We hope you have a fantastic summer and we’ll see you all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in September as we launch the ABAs 2022!

The Shortlists are Here!!

We are absolutely thrilled with the wide range of titles that have been nominated this year, and we really hope you are too. Keep following us o all the social media feeds @SussexABA, and tell us what you think.

Info on the virtual awards night coming very soon.

The 2020 & 2021 Long Lists

Afternoon to all you lovely Amazing Book Awards people! We hope that you are staying well and safe in all this pandemic horribleness.

We are really pleased to share news of the #ABA2021 award longlists with you- yes, I did say long LISTS! As we had a fallow year last year we have a long list for both 2020 titles as well as 2021 titles. You will find images of the long lists for each of these attached, and we have recorded a loom video introducing all of these that you are free to use at your setting.

Due to covid current restrictions and awareness that our usual award ceremony may well be impacted by social distancing policies, we have taken the decision to run this year’s events entirely online. We will be streaming the awards announcements along with author interviews and students introductions online on Award Night (Friday 18th June) so everyone can participate regardless of what the covid situation may be by then.

We will still produce all the resources/labels/activities that we usually do, and we will look to you to help connect your readers to the ABA books too and get them engaged with the usual competitions and events. We are aware that everyone’s situation is strange right now, with many of us having very limited ways to connect with our readers, so initial long to shortlist voting will be done via our social media sites.

#ABA2020 titles will be voted on in the week beginning 15th February

#ABA2021 titles will be voted on the follow week, beginning 22nd February

Once all the votes have been collated, we will announce the 2 shortlists on World Book Day, Thursday 4th March. We are currently looking into how we can get students who have read all the shortlist books to vote via a more controllable system than social media! We will ask you to help encourage those readers to use the voting system when we get there.

One final bit of good news for all you wonderful people, we feel that – due to how this year’s events are going to mean working and celebrating in a different way – we are offering all those subscribed to this year’s awards free membership to next year’s awards. We wanted to say thank you to you all for sticking with us through the pandemic and continuing all the hard work to keep your readers engaged with their reading, not just the ABA’s but across the board.

Looking forward to catching up soon, do get in touch with any of us for more clarity, or if you need anything ABA related!

We’re Back!!

Ladies and gentlemen,

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We are delighted to announce that the Amazing Book Awards are back!! Almost as if we had predicted what a poopstorm 2020 was going to be, we have spent our well imposed fallow year regrouping, planning, priming and preparing for 2021. It’s going to be epic! It’s going to be awesome!! It’s going to be the BEST year ever!!! And we really hope you want to join us for our 10th Birthday next summer. Sadly, we can’t give you an exact date for the awards night just yet, until we find out what’s occurring with them pesky GCSEs. But pencil in a Friday in late June, early July and you’ll be about right.

BIG NEWS – We are now open for subscriptions. Follow this link to our new fancy-pants subscription form: ABA 2021 Or if you’re feeling even more fancy you can follow the quick code on the shoutout you should have received in the post last week. As soon as you are subscribed we will send you a new and improved Amazing Welcome Pack TM Our subscription fees remain unchanged at £50 per school. Further information on the form.

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We’d also like you to send us your Long List suggestions. Remembering we are looking at the June 2018 to May 2020 publishing window. Please could you send these to Sally asap As soon as we have the Long Long List ready we’ll arrange a skypey-zoomy-type call (as getting together face-to-face isn’t really an option yet) to get the Long List ready for launch in late October. You’ll then have until January to contemplate and vote for the books you would like to see on the Shortlist, which will be announced on Monday 1st Feb. 2021.

Lastly, thank you so much for all your support over the last 10 years! We are so grateful for everything your patronage and friendships.

Take care everyone, and looking forward to hearing from you soon.


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Join us today: ABA 2021

The 2020 Awards

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard from us yet this year, well, with various commitments and changes at ABA headquarters, we have decided to have a fallow year and to take a year off. A lot goes into running the ABAs and we have great plans for the future. All our social media feeds will be active and we’d love to hear about your (and your students) reading choices and recommendations. Let’s keep the conversation going.

However, this is not the end of the ABAs, we will be back BIGGER and BETTER than ever in September 2020. In what will be our 10 birthday year! [P.A.R.T.Y] We’re going to have some AMAZING authors for you, and some even more AMAZING competitions for your students, and (of course) a few Brucie Bonus’ for you too. It’s going to be huge! EPIC even, and we really hope that you will want to be part of it again. We’ll be sending a shout-out for book recommendations next July, so make sure you keep notes on any books that stand out for you as the year goes on.  

If you have any questions or queries about the ABAs now please email me at this address, Sally Baker or our address and we will be more than happy to help.

Thank you once again for all your support and positivity, we wouldn’t have the ABAs without you.

Much love,

The 2019 Winners

2019 was our biggest year yet. In more ways than one! We had more students and schools than before ever taking part in the awards. It was our biggest night ever, and we were so delighted to be joined by the three of our wonderful authors, and of course, our fabulous host Penny Joelson.

It was certainly a close run thing, and until we received the last schools’ votes there was only two points between the gold and silver winners. Just two!! But we were delighted to announce that the wonderful M A Bennett was our 2019 Gold Award Winner, with her fantastic book S.T.A.G.S. Coming a very close second, and winning Silver, was Matt Killeen and his thrilling book Orphan Monster Spy and then in the Bronze position was Lauren James with her hugely exciting The Loneliest Girl in the Universe.

Photo by Miles Davies (C) 2019

MASSIVE thanks to all the lovely staff and students at Worthing High who put in a whole tonne of work behind the scenes to make the awards go so smoothly this year. Thank you also for hosting us. Thanks also to our wonderful photographer in residence Miles Davies. And of course final thanks to our schools and their students – because without you there wouldn’t be any point in holding the ABAs. Thank you for your commitment, your interest and your engagement.

And as we move into 2020 – Yes! 20 20 What? – We are super excited to confirm that the fantastic, wonderful and hugely talented M A Bennett will be returning as our host.

We’re really looking forward to the 2020 awards and hope that you decide to join us again. In the meantime have a great summer and we’ll be in contact soon.

The 2019 Shortlist

What a fantastic list! Our BEST yet!

We’re so lucky this year to have had such an amazing long list, and so our shortlist was bound to be brilliant. It was a massive task for our schools to get the long list down to just five titles, and boy was it close. One of these wonderful books had over 700 votes. 700!! And the rest were not far behind.

If you want to know how to vote, pop over to our voting page, where we explain everything. It’s not too difficult but you’d be amazed at how many people get it a bit wrong. And we want to make sure you get it 100% right, especially after all your hard work.