The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Indie Book Awards 2024 Shortlist Revealed

The shortlist for the Indie Book Awards 2024, unveiling the best paperbacks to read this summer, has been announced today. The annual awards are exclusively curated by independent bookshops and run as part of Independent Bookshop Week (IBW, Saturday 15 – Saturday 22 June 2024).

Celebrating the best paperbacks of the summer across four categories – Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction and Picture Book – the Indie Book Awards are exclusively curated with the expertise of independent booksellers as part of Independent Bookshop Week, the annual campaign celebrating indie bookshops in the UK and Ireland between 15 and 22 June this year, organised by the Booksellers Association.
This year’s shortlist includes multi award-winning author and TIME100 Next ‘Phenom’ for 2023 R.F. Kuang (Yellowface & Babel); the former Laureate for Irish Fiction and two-time winner of the Costa Book of the Year Sebastian Barry (Old God’s Time); popular historian, TV presenter and journalist Dan Jones (Essex Dogs); the youngest ever winner of the Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction Katherine Rundell (The Golden Mole); and creator of BAFTA TV and Children and Family’s Emmy Awards-nominated TV series Heartstopper Alice Oseman (Heartstopper Vol 5).
A judging panel of independent booksellers will decide on the four winners, to be announced on Thursday 20 June during Independent Bookshop Week. The winners will be announced exclusively on Scala Radio, the official media partner of the Indie Book Awards, on the Penny Smith show from 10:30am.
The full Indie Book Awards 2024 Shortlist:
Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang (The Borough Press)
Babel by R.F. Kuang (HarperVoyager)
Weyward by Emilia Hart (The Borough Press)
Really, Good Actually by Monica Heisey (4th Estate)
Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
Essex Dogs by Dan Jones (Head of Zeus, An Aries Book)
The Golden Mole and Other Vanishing Treasure by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Talya Baldwin (Faber & Faber)
The Future of Geography: How Power and Politics in Space will Change the World by Tim Marshall (Elliott & Thompson)
Divine Might by Natalie Haynes (Picador)
Finding Hildasay by Christian Lewis (Pan)
The Farmer’s Wife by Helen Rebanks (Faber & Faber)
Everything is Everything by Clive Myrie (Hodder & Stoughton)
Safiyyah’s War by Hiba Noor Khan (Andersen Press)
The Clockwork Conspiracy by Sam Sedgman (Bloomsbury Children’s Books
The Final Year by Matt Goodfellow, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton (Otter-Barry Books)
Heartstopper Volume 5 by Alice Oseman (Hodder Children’s Books)
Kicked Out by A.M. Dassu (Old Barn Books)
The Wonder Brothers by Frank Cottrell-Boyce illustrated by Steven Lenton (Macmillan Children’s Books)
The Cat Who Couldn’t Be Bothered by Jack Kurland (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books: First Editions)
The Great Storm Whale by Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)
Grandad’s Pride by Harry Woodgate (Andersen Press)
The Dress in the Window by Robert Tregoning, illustrated by Pippa Curnick (Oxford University Press)
Snail in Space by Rachel Bright illustrated by Nadia Shireen (Simon & Schuster Children’s Books)
There’s a Tiger on the Train by Mariesa Dulak illustrated by Rebecca Cobb (Faber & Faber)
The Adult categories judging panel consists of Tim Batcup (Cover-to-Cover, Swansea), Yasmine Srouji (Bookbag, Exeter), Claire Grint (Cogito Books, Hexham), Nadia Jones (South London Gallery Bookshop, London), Rebecca Roberts (Night Owl Books, East Linton).
The Children’s categories will be judged by Jenny Eagles (Owl and Pyramid Bookshop, Seaton), Helen Tamblyn-Saville (Wonderland Bookshop, Retford), Gordon Stewart (Wedale Bookshop, Stow), Denise Evans-Barr (Custom House Bookshop, London), Keira Andrews (Reading Roots, Wetherby).
Sebastian Barry author of Old God’s Time, said: “Having won this deeply heartening award twice, it feels like an instance of wild kindness to be shortlisted again. If literature were a religion, independent bookshops would be the beautiful churches.”
Natalie Haynes, author of Divine Might, said: “I am thrilled to be shortlisted for the Indie book awards! My first job was in an indie bookshop - I started there as a Saturday girl the week I turned 16. The owner had worked with my grandmother at another indie in Birmingham (it’s all about who you know), so I was carrying on a family tradition. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to think of what my teenage self would have thought about seeing her books on the shelves - it is a wonderful feeling. I can't thank the indies enough for all the support they have shown me over the past few years. Thank you, indies!”
Clive Myrie, author of Everything is Everything, said: "This shortlisting feels very special because it’s been decided by the people who’ve done such a wonderful job of helping my book Everything is Everything reach a wide audience. I’ve always thought of independent bookshops as the beating heart of our towns and cities, large and small.”
Alice Oseman, author of Heartstopper Vol 5, said: “In the age of convenience, it's more important than ever to shop indie; they're not only sellers of books but also providers of community spaces, curators of local events, and safe havens when you're out and about. I am so honoured to have been shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards and I am hugely grateful to the indie bookshops across the UK for their ongoing support of my work.”
Mariesa Dulak, author of There’s a Tiger on a Train, alongside Rebecca Cobb, said: “I am thrilled that There's a Tiger on the Train has been shortlisted for The Indie Book Awards. Indie booksellers have taken the book to their hearts and hand-sold it to their customers from the beginning which is such an honour. This support had led to the book reprinting prior to publication AND appearing in the top 10 Indie Bookseller Chart for three consecutive weeks.
Indie Bookshops are so often at the heart of the local community. Offering much needed book advice and support, supplying and advising local schools and of course being a crucial hub and welcoming space for all things bookish!”
Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: “As always, we are so excited to celebrate the best paperbacks of the summer chosen by indie booksellers for the Indie Book Awards. The 2024 shortlist is filled to the brim with fantastically talented authors in all their varying categories and genres. Carefully selected with the expert knowledge of indie booksellers and in the spirit of Independent Bookshop Week, we definitely encourage everyone to delve into this list of must-reads this summer and to visit their closest indie bookshop to buy their copies.”
For more information about the Indie Book Awards and previous winners, please visit
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