The ultimate guide to the 2023 book award longlists

Mar 27 2023

Shortlist of books nominated for awards

It’s that time of year again - The book prizes have released their longlists and we can’t wait to see who wins! Bringing exciting new writing to readers everywhere, shining a light on stories that we may not otherwise hear. An extraordinary number of titles have been submitted for these awards from talented writers from across the globe, and we wanted to share with you some of our favourite nominations. All of these are available to borrow from Hampshire Libraries, so have a browse and enjoy an exciting new story.

Women's Prize for Fiction longlist

Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris book cover

The Women’s Prize for Fiction has been running since 1996, reflecting the incredible diversity of women’s fiction writing in English. The prize celebrates books from a range of different genres and themes, which are set all over the globe and other worldly lands. The charity celebrates the creativity of women, creating a space to empower women and share their stories.

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Set in a small town near Belfast in Northern Ireland this is a story about an affair which intensifies as the story goes on. Could this romance impact the political tensions in the town and threaten to destroy all of what Cushla is trying to hold together? This book has also been shortlisted for Waterstone’s debut picture prize.

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

This is the story of Damon’s struggles from foster care systems to child labour, addiction, disastrous loves and crushing losses. He has a fierce talent for survival and never pauses for a breath. Inspired by the original book, David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, this story shows a new generation of lost boys.

Black Butterflies by Pricilla Morris

Zora’s city falls under siege, black ash floats over the rooftops as devastation hits. Follow the community as they are forced to rebuild themselves, a story about resilience and hope.

The British Book Awards - fiction shortlist

Fair Tale by Stephen King book cover

The British Book Awards is a celebration of authors and illustrators from across Britain who have captivated readers. It celebrates the connection between books, their makers, and their audiences. Below are a few of our favourite titles within the shortlist for fiction book of the year.

Babel: An Arcane History by Rebecca F Kuang

Babel is a historical fantasy around student revolutions, colonial resistance, and the use of language translation as the dominating tool of the British Empire. It criticizes British imperialism and capitalism. Drawing from her own experiences as a translator and Oxford graduate.

Fairy Tale by Stephen King

Fairy Tale is a dark fantasy novel following Charlie Reade, a 17-year-old who inherits keys to a hidden, otherworldly realm. He finds himself leading the battle between the forces of good and evil. The stakes could not be higher, for their world or ours. 

Love Marriage by Monica Ali

Love Marriage is a story about who we are and how we love in today's Britain. What starts as a captivating social comedy develops into a heartbreaking and gripping story of two cultures, two families and two people trying to understand one another.

The Jhalak Prize longlist

None of the Above by Travis Alabanza book cover

The Jhalak Prize celebrates books by British/British resident BAME writers. This prize is unique as it accepts entries published in the UK by writers of colour. These include (and are not limited to) fiction, non-fiction, short stories, graphic novels, poetry and all other genres.

None of the Above: Reflections on Life Beyond the Binary by Travis Alabanza

Travis examines seven phrases people have directed at them about their gender identity. Speaking about the broader issues around gender and gender bias. The author reflects on society giving the reader questions about the way we live and treat each other.

Birdgirl: A Young Environmentalist Looks to the Skies in Search of a Better Future by Mya-Rose Craig

Mya-Rose has seen over five thousand different types of birds; half the world’s species. This is a story about her journey exploring these wonderful creatures and seeing first-hand how they are impacted by climate change and the destruction of their habitat.

The Baillie Gifford Prize for non-fiction shortlist

1599 by James Shapiro book cover

The Baillie Gifford Prize recognises non-fiction authors exploring themes of current affairs, history, politics, science, sport, travel, biography, autobiography, and the arts. This year they have launched a special one-off award to mark the 25th anniversary of the prize. It will crown the best work of non-fiction from the last 25 years, recognising the outstanding work of all previous 24 prize winners.

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

Barbara Demick is the 2010 winner of the prize. Her book is about a ground-breaking never-before-seen view into North Korea through the lives of six ordinary citizens by an award-winning foreign correspondent. Based on interviews with refugees from the city of Chongjin who had escaped North Korea.

1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro

James Shapiro is the 2006 winner of the prize. He writes about the intimate history of Shakespeare, following him through a single year that changed not only his fortunes but the course of literature as we know it. Exploring how Shakespeare transformed from being a talented poet and playwright to becoming one of the greatest writers who ever lived.

There are many more exciting shortlists and book prize winners to be announced later this year. Keep an eye out on our library catalogue for new releases and availability of popular reads. Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram for updates on winning books.