The Amazing Book Awards

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

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Important Dates for Your Diary

Friday 20th June 2025 - The ABA Awards Night

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Author Archive by The ABA Team

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.

The 2018 ABA Shortlist

Annnnnnd here it is. The 2018 ABA Shortlist. What a list! We think it’s A-MAZING!

We can’t believe it! Thank you so much for your votes. You have no idea how close it was this year. There was just one single point between some of the books!

Now it gives us great pleasure to announce that the wonderfully brilliant HOLLY BOURNE will be our host for this summers’ awards night, on FRIDAY 22nd JUNE. Last years’ GOLD award winner Holly is really looking forward to meeting all those of you who voted for AM I NORMAL YET? She’ll also be free to chat to students and sign copies of her books at the end of the night.

This year we are hoping to be joined by all five of our finalist authors for the presentation night. So all you have to do now is read the Shortlisted books and then vote for your favourite. (Voting deadline is Thursday 7th June) Nice and simple.


ABA Welcome Packs ™  will be in the post soon for all our Active Schools, and keep checking our social media for news about our very special VIP student competition we’re running for the second year. Three students will win themselves and a friend an invite to the pre-awards VIP reception, front row seats, queue-jump passes for the book signing AND a ABA Goodie Bag ™ FULL of amazing ABA merchandise.

We’re certain that 2018 is going to be another brilliant year, and it wouldn’t be possible without you and your lovely students, so thank you!

The 2018 Long List


 Look at that! Isn’t it AMAZING! What a list!! We think it may be our best yet!

  1. The Hawkweed Prophecy – Irena Brignull
  2. Ink – Alice Broadway
  3. Sleeper – JD Fennell
  4. Noah Can’t Even – Simon James Green
  5. Under Rose-Tainted Skies – Louise Gornall
  6. Paper Butterflies – Lisa Heathfield
  7. I Have No Secrets – Penny Joelson
  8. Ariadnis – Josh Martin
  9. Blame – Simon Mayo
  10. Railhead – Philip Reeve
  11. Songs about a Girl – Chris Russell
  12. Re-Made – Alex Scarrow
  13. Saint Death – Marcus Sedgwick
  14. A Seven Letter Word – Kim Slater
  15. Contagion – Teri Terry
  16. My Name’s not Friday – Jon Walter
  17. Wing Jones – Katherine Webber

Now you have until Tuesday 30th Jan. to vote on your top 5 books. Then on Thursday 1st Feb. we’ll announce the 2018 Shortlist and you can start reading.

Happy voting!!

The ABAs 2017 – Awards Night

Wow! Oh wow!! What a night! Over 550 people came along to Shoreham Academy this year to meet the wonderful authors C.J. Daugherty, Helen Dennis and Dave Shelton. As well as our 2016 Gold Award Winning Host Carla Spradbery.


Thank you one and all who came down for the evening, it was wonderful to see you all! Lots of photos will follow shortly.

We’ve already announced the ABAs 2018 – Friday 22nd June, and we hope to see as many of you there as possible.

Much love,

The ABA Team


The 2017 Long List

We are very excited to announce, after a highly successful meeting, the 2017 ABA Long List. And what a list it is! Wow!!

  1. A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond
  2. Twenty Questions for Gloria by Martyn Bedford
  3. Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne
  4. Petunia Perry and the Curse of the Ugly Pigeon by Pamela Butchart
  5. The Secret Fire by C.J. Daugherty & Carina Rozenfeld
  6. River of Ink by Helen Dennis
  7. The Many Worlds of Albie Bright by Christopher Edge
  8. More of Me by Kathryn Evans
  9. The Door that led to Where by Sally Gardner
  10. In Another Life by Laura Jarratt
  11. Maladapted by Richard Kurti
  12. There will be Lies by Nick Lake
  13. The Sign of One by Eugene Lambert
  14.  Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis
  15.  The Novice by Taran Matharu
  16. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
  17. Book of Lies by Teri Terry
  18. Thirteen Chairs by Dan Shelton
  19. Fire Colour One by Jenny Valentine
  20. All Sorts of Possible by Rupert Wallis



Each school should spend some time discussing the Long List. If you have copies look at the book covers and read the blurbs. Then ask your students to pick the 5 books they would like to see on the shortlist. Finally all you need to do is send us your total votes for each book (not just your top five books).

Get your votes to Amanda ( by Friday 27th Jan. We’ll be announcing the Shortlist on Wednesday 1st Feb.





The 2016 Awards Night

Woweee! What an amazing night! The 5th Amazing Book Awards, was without doubt the best one yet! Over 500 people made their way to Shoreham Academy to meet our 2016 finalist authors, Carla, Eve, Teri and Tim. They were joined by our host, the wonderfully fantastic Juno Dawson. (Sadly Alan Gibbons couldn’t join us in person, but he sent us a brilliant video.)

2016-shortlistJuno had the audience on the edge of their seats with her beautiful and impassioned speech about ‘what is politics’ and why all young people should be involved and take an interest in our political landscape. (It was BREXIT day and we were all feeling a little blue. But Juno soon cheered us up!)

Following Chris Riddell’s brilliant example last year, Juno gave all our finalist authors her artistic impression of their main characters. Juno’s drawings were hilarious and much loved by the authors.

After telling us about their characters, their books and their writing inspirations, the finalist authors answered some very tricky questions from members of the audience.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE …. and the winners were…..

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We were absolutely delighted that Carla won Gold this year and she has already agreed to come back to host for us next year. Yay! A massively huge thank you to all who took part! Thank your for voting, for reading and for joining us on the celebration night. We really couldn’t do anything without you!! Thanks also to our finalist authors who travelled from all over the country to be with us. And of course, our final thanks go to the wonderful, the amazing, the awe-inspiring Juno Dawson, who was simply brilliant. We could not have asked for a better host! Thank you Juno!!


Make sure you save the date and keep Friday the 23rd June free, it’s the ABAs 2017. Hope to see you all there!

Much love,