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Branford Boase longlist announced

3rd Feb 19

The longlist for the 2019 Branford Boase Award has been announced. The award celebrates debut children's authors and their editors and is now in its 20th year.

Set up in memory of author Henrietta Branford and her editor Wendy Boase, one of the founders of Walker Books, the Branford Boase Award is given annually to the author of an outstanding debut novel for children and has highlighted many leading children's authors at the start of their careers.

Winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Mal Peet, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge and Philip Reeve.

This year's longlist of 20 novels includes Matt Killeen'ss Costa shortlisted Orphan Monster Spy; Sophie Anderson's widely praised fairytale adventure The House with Chicken Legs; and Onjali Q.Rauf's sensitive, touching story about a young refugee, The Boy at the Back of the Class.

Here is the 2019 Branford Boase Award longlist in full:

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)

Boy Underwater by Adam Baron, edited by Nick Lake and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)

The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell, edited by Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker (Usborne)

Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)

The Fandom by Anna Day, edited by Kesia Lupo (Chicken House)

Me Mam. Me Dad. Me by Malcolm Duffy, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)

Twister by Juliette Forrest, edited by Lauren Fortune (Scholastic)

Flight by Vanessa Harbour, edited by Janet Thomas (Firefly)

Brightstorm by Vashti Hardy, edited by Linas Alsenas (Scholastic)

The Goose Road by Rowena House, edited by Mara Bergman (Walker Books)

Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers by Anna James, edited by Rachel Denwood and Sarah Hughes (HarperCollins)

The Mystery of the Colour Thief by Ewa Jozefkowicz, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Head of Zeus)

I Am Thunder by Muhammad Khan, edited by Lucy Pearse (Macmillan)

Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen, edited by Sarah Stewart (Usborne)

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q Rauf, edited by Lena McCauley (Orion Children's Books)

On a Scale of One to Ten by Ceylan Scott, edited by Rachel Leyshon (Chicken House)

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw, edited by Bella Pearson and Anthony Hinton (David Fickling Books)

Sunflowers in February by Phyllida Shrimpton, edited Emma Matthewson (Hot Key)

Run Riot by Nikesh Shukla, edited by Emma Goldhawk (Hodder Children's Books)

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson, edited by Jennie Skinner and Sally Polson (Floris Books)

The shortlist for the Award will be announced on 1st May 2019 and the winner will be announced on 3rd July.

This year the judges include Sanchita Basu De Sarkar of the Children's Bookshop, Muswell Hill; Ellen Krajewski, librarian at Hemel Hempstead School, Hertfordshire; Louise Johns-Shepherd, chief executive of CLPE; and Mitch Johnson, author of Kick, winner of the 2018 Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children's director of the Hay Festival.

Julia Eccleshare says: "We are proud that so many of the authors acknowledged by the Branford Boase Award have gone on to write outstanding novels for children, and are proud too to be championing editors, those invisible women and men whose contribution to literature is so often overlooked. For 20 years the Branford Boase Award has supported publishers as they encourage and develop new writers, something that would have pleased Henrietta and Wendy very much."

The Branford Boase Award is sponsored by Walker Books who have pledged new funding to ensure its future. Jane Winterbotham, publishing director, said: "We hugely value the contribution the award has made in encouraging and highlighting new writing talent, as well as in recognising the role played by the editor in supporting writers at the start of their career."

The Henrietta Branford Writing Competition, the annual competition for young people which runs in conjunction with the Branford Boase Award, is also open.

Walker Books has also published a new edition of Henrietta Branford's multi-award-winning book Fire, Bed and Bone, the story of the Peasants' Revolt seen through the eyes of an old hunting dog.

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