IBW Book Award

Independent Bookshop Week Book Award 2018 Winners

IBW Book Award winners
As voted for by local independent bookshops and judged by a panel of authors, booksellers and journalists, the three winners are Amor Towles for A Gentleman in Moscow (Windmill) in the Adult Category, Geraldine McCaughrean for Where the World Ends (Usborne) in Children’s, and Nicola Davies and illustrator, Emily Sutton for Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth (Walker Books) in Picture Books.

The winners will be presented with their awards in their local independent bookshop and all bookshops participating in IBW will be encouraged to showcase their work.

Winner of the Adult Category, Amor Towles said: “As an author, I can be struck by the lightning bolt of inspiration, rattle out an outline, marshal through a few hundred pages of narrative, spend three years bent to the drudgery of revision and, in so doing, create a little masterpiece. But none of that will matter if the product of my inspiration and effort never finds its audience. For a book to find its readership, it must first spark the interest of some initial reader who out of enthusiasm, whimsy, or compassion, feels compelled to pass the book along to a like-minded reader who, some days hence, will pass this back along to another. More often than not, this magical chain reaction begins with a reader who is in the employ of an independent bookstore. That is why I am so deeply honoured by this award - and why, whenever I prepare to drink from a glass of wine, I raise it first to the booksellers of the world.”

Winner of the Children’s Category, Geraldine McCaughrean commented: “And I thought June was lovely enough already! What a thrill. To launch Where the World Ends, I was driven round various Scottish independents and was taken aback by the warm welcome it had been given. ‘But then I suppose it is a book about Scotland,’ I thought. Now this! A vote of confidence from indies all over! I couldn’t be more pleased or honoured. Goodness, if I worked as hard a most booksellers, I would have to turn out six books a year, grow and fell the trees to make the paper, print, bind and illustrate them all while riding a unicycle and herding kangaroos into fourth‐floor accommodation. Thank you to everyone who afforded my book space in a crowded book world.”

Winner of the Picture Book Category, Nicola Davies and illustrator, Emily Sutton added: “We are thrilled that Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth has won the picture book category of the IBW Book Award! It’s so important to us that Independent Bookshops are supportive of our work and we appreciate everything they do to help build reading communities in their local areas. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everybody that helped us create Lots and who continue to help it flourish.”
The shortlists: 


  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman
    The Secret Life of Cows – Rosamund Young
    This is Going to Hurt – Adam Kay
    Life in the Garden – Penelope Lively
    A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
    I am, I am, I am – Maggie O’Farrell
    Birdcage Walk – Helen Dunmore
    Elmet – Fiona Mozley
    Midwinter Break – Bernard MacLaverty
    How Not to Be a Boy – Robert Webb



The Explorer – Katherine Rundell
Things a Bright Girl Can Do – Sally Nicholls
Letters from the Lighthouse – Emma Carroll
Sky Song – Abi Elphinstone
A Skinful of Shadows – Frances Hardinge
The 91-Storey Treehouse – Andy Griffiths & illustrated by Terry Denton
We Come Apart – Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan
The 1000 Year Old Boy – Ross Welford
Nevermoor – Jessica Townsend
Release – Patrick Ness
A Spoonful of Murder – Robin Stevens
The Bolds on Holiday – Julian Clary & illustrated by David Roberts
Where the World Ends – Geraldine McCaughrean


Fantastically Great Women who Made History – Kate Pankhurst
Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth – Nicola Davies & illustrated by Emily Sutton
You Choose in Space – Pippa Goodhart & illustrated by Nick Sharratt
Grandad’s Secret Giant – David Litchfield
Katinka’s Tail – Judith Kerr
The Squirrels Who Squabbled – Rachel Bright & illustrated by Jim Field
I Love You, Stick Insect – Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
The Everywhere Bear – Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Rebecca Cobb
The Grotlyn – Benji Davies
Kevin – Rob Biddulph
What the Ladybird Heard on Holiday – Julia Donaldson & illustrated by Lydia Monks
Superbat – Matt Carr

This year the IBW Book Award judging panels will be chaired by former BA President, Rosamund de la Hey and current BA President Nic Bottomley, and will include Joanna Cannon, author (The Trouble with Goats & Sheep, Three Things About Elsie); Debbie James, The Kibworth Bookshop; Sandy Mahal, UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature; Will Smith, Sam Read Booksellers; Yasmeen Ismail, author and illustrator (I’m A Girl!, Time for Bed, Fred); Wei Ming Kam, author (contributor to The Good Immigrant), blogger; Natasha Radford, Chicken & Frog Bookshop and Tony West, Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop.

The winners of each category will be announced on Friday 15th June, the day before IBW starts. 


Adult category:
2017: Days Without End by Sebastian Barry
2016: The Green Road by Anne Enright 
2015: The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters 
2014: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
2013: A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
2012: Why Be Happy When you Could be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson
2011: The Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal
2010: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
2009: The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
2008: Notes from an Exhibition by Patrick Gale
2007: Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Children’s Fiction category:
2017: A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri
2016: Pugs of the Frozen North by Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
2015: An Island of Our Own by Sally Nicholls 
2014: Flora & Ulysses by Kate Di Camillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell
2013: Wonder by RJ Palacio
2012: One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson
2011: Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex by Eoin Colfer
2010: Running Wild by Michael Morpurgo
2009: Artemis Fowl and the Time Paradox by Eoin Colfer
2008: The Sleepwalker by Robert Muchamore
2007: Alone on a Wide, Wide Sea by Michael Morpurgo

Children’s Picture Book category:
2017: Tidy by Emily Gravett
2016: Stanley the Amazing Knitting Cat by Emily MacKenzie
2015: A Walk in Paris by Salvatore Rubbino
2014: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld