Which Writers will have the Last Word at the Specsavers National Book Awards?

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November 18, 2013

Awards Shortlist Announced Today

The nation’s most commercially and critically successful authors are to be honoured at the star-studded Specsavers National Book Awards, which celebrate the best books of 2013. Announced today, the shortlist reveals which of Britain’s most popular writers will compete in ten categories. The awards will be presented at the most glamorous night in the literary calendar, hosted by TV’s Lorraine Kelly on Wednesday 11 December at London’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

In a bumper year for the book industry which has seen pseudonyms uncovered, a surge in the status of short stories, and erotica continue to hit the headlines, the Specsavers National Book Awards truly reflect the public’s best loved books of the year and serve as a great recommendation for Christmas gifts.

Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders are among some the UK’s well-loved personalities who feature on this year’s shortlist. Rick Stein and Mary Berry join David Jason on the shortlist for Autobiography/Biography of the Year category, with Jamie Oliver’s Save With Jamie and new chef on the block Tom Kerridge’s Tom Kerridge’s Proper Pub Food featuring in the Food & Drink Book of the Year category.

This year’s Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton will tussle with authors including Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt for International Author of the Year, whilst Bridget will battle Bond as Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy goes head to head with William Boyd’s Solo in the Popular Fiction Book of the Year.

Non-fiction Book of the Year nominees include I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb; One Summer by Bill Bryson and Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath.  Jim Crace, Neil Gaiman, Robert Harris, Philippa Gregory, Julia Donaldson and Patrick Ness also receive shortlist nominations across the awards categories.

Highlights from the awards will be shown on Thursday 12 December as part of ITV1’s Lorraine on Daybreak, a media partner of the Awards.

Dame Mary Perkins, Specsavers founder, said: ‘The National Book Awards are the Oscars of the literary world so we are delighted to be involved with them again this year. There are such a diverse and exciting selection of writers shortlisted, I can’t wait to get stuck into the books myself.’

Amanda Ross, from Cactus TV who produce the Awards, said: ‘Thanks to Specsavers, these Awards have become the book party of the year.  They are unique in that they celebrate success in the charts, and the timing means everyone can use the shortlists as Christmas shopping lists as there is something for the whole family.’

The Awards also enjoy a media partnership with Magic FM. Nominated authors will be interviewed on air and Magic FM will also encourage listeners to vote for their favourite books online, as well as reporting news of the awards.

Waterstones will host a series of special events with shortlisted authors and previous winners in selected stores in the run-up to the awards. The festive season is a crucial time of year for the publishing industry as it tends to be the most popular time of year to buy books and so these events are designed to help consumers choose their Christmas reads.

Readers will be asked to vote for their favourite from each of the category winners to win the coveted Specsavers National Book of the Year Award, to be announced on 26 December. Previous winners have included E.L. James’s Fifty Shades of Grey, One Day by David Nicholls and Caitlin Moran’s How To Be A Woman.