Set up in memory of award-winning 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 the year’s outstanding debut novel for children. It has a notable record in picking out the most talented authors at the start of their careers. Past winners and shortlisted authors have included Siobhan Dowd, Meg Rosoff, Frank Cottrell Boyce and Patrick Ness as well as Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve and most recently Maisie Chan. Uniquely, the Branford Boase Award also honours the editor of the winning title and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent.
For the third year running over 60 books were submitted from 30 different publishers. The longlist of 21 features fantasy novels, accomplished coming-of-age YA novels, a Georgian-era crime adventure, and many more brilliant novels celebrating diversity, wonder and humour across children’s publishing. You can view the full longlist here.