The Diverse Book Awards was established in November 2019 and was created by award-winning children's and YA author Abiola Bello and award winning publicist Helen Lewis.
There are many book awards but very few that are just for diversity and we believe diversity is something to celebrate! The first year running the awards was AMAZING. Helen and Abiola assumed only a handful of books would be nominated but there were 60 books they had to judge! Thankfully there are a panel of independent judges who decide what books get longlisted, shortlisted and eventually win.
The Diverse Book Awards is here to stay and hopes to recreate that magic for many years to come.
The bright idea came about when Abiola was looking up book awards for diverse books and only found one, despite the conversations about more diversity in books. She shared the idea with Helen who backed it and they agreed to celebrate the amazing talent that we have here in the UK. Whilst Abiola was trying to think of a clever awards name, Helen said, “Why not keep it simple and call it The Diverse Book Awards?"
The Diverse Book Awards' definition of diversity, in the context of publishing, is a book that contains characters not typically or widely represented. Everyone deserves to see themselves represented. It's about a range of characters that are not from the same walks of life. This can be diversity in class, race, gender identity, sexuality, disability, background and other forms of identity.
The Diverse Book Awards decided to expand to Ireland because they have read some fantastic diverse books from Irish authors that they felt needed to be highlighted.
The Diverse Book Awards is open to anyone who has written a picture book, children book, young adults and adult. Fiction only and UK or Ireland based authors.
More diverse books are self-published so The Diverse Book Awards are are open to self-published and traditionally published books.
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