Calling all readers! The shortlist of the #BAMBReadersAwards, sponsored by @book_tokens, has just been revealed. They are the only awards curated by booksellers and chosen by readers, like you! #BookTwitter

London, Thursday 6 October 2022: Today, the shortlist for the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens and many UK publishers, is announced. Bookshops across the UK & Ireland have nominated their top authors and books of 2022.

See the full shortlist & cast your vote here:

Announced ahead of Bookshop Day (Saturday 8th October), the annual celebration of bookshops big and small, the Readers Awards are the only book awards with a shortlist curated by booksellers. The public vote opens today, and readers are encouraged to choose the titles and authors they would like to win the awards.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday 8th November at an awards ceremony at Foyles on Charing Cross Road, hosted by Radzi Chinyanganya.Author, journalist and social media influencer Anna James will be providing exclusive behind-the-seen content on the night from her social channels (Twitter: @acaseforbooks, Instagram: @acaseforbooks).

About Radzi Chinyanganya

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Radzi Chinyanganya is one of Britain’s most talented and experienced presenters, having started out his presenting career on BBC’s landmark and historic children show Blue Peter. He has since gone on to be a regular face on the screen, presenting shows for the BBC, Sky Sports and Channel 4, working among others on the 2012 London Olympics, BBC Boat Race, World Athletics Championships in Qatar, ICC Cricket World Cup and more. Radzi also filmed Your Body: Your Image – a BBC 2 Learning series focusing on body image in schools, and the BBC’s documentary series Home Front Heroes commemorating the ways in which ordinary men & women played a vital part in Britain’s Wartime victory. Radzi also continues his work hosting film premieres for some of the most iconic films to hit our screens in recent times such as The Lion King and Toy Story 4.

About Anna James

Anna James | Penguin Random House

Anna James is a freelance writer and journalist. After spending five years as a secondary school librarian in the Midlands she joined The Bookseller magazine as its book news editor in 2014. At the end of 2015 she left to pursue a freelance career and has written for ELLE UK, Buzzfeed, The Pool, The LA Times and several other outlets. She is also a literary event chair, hosting the Lush Book Club, and interviewing authors at bookshops and festivals. She also talks and writes about books across several social channels under the A Case for Books including Twitter and YouTube. Her debut children’s book, Pages & Co: Tilly and the Bookwanderers, was HarperCollins Children’s flagship debut of autumn 2018. The second in the series Pages & Co: Tilly and the Lost Fairytaleswas published in September 2019.


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100 Queer Poems
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L-R: Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin, Otherlands by Thomas Halliday, Grimwood by Nadia Shireen, 100 Queer Poems edited by Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan, I Kissed Sarah Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

The 2022 Readers Awards shortlist includes: exhilarating gaming-inspired novel Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow by best-selling author Gabrielle Zevin; poet, playwright, broadcaster and author, Lemm Sissay OBE for his collection The Fire People; British-Somali poet Warsan Shire, author of Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in Her HeadGrimwoodLet the Fur Fly, a bestselling comedy adventure from Nadia ShireenKit de Waal for her childhood memoir, Without Warning and Only Sometimes: Scenes from an Unpredictable Childhood, set to become a classic; and much-loved author, illustrator and screenwriter Alice Oseman, creator of the Heartstopper series.

The shortlist categories open for public vote are: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Young Adult Fiction, Children’s Fiction and Breakthrough Author. The public is invited to vote for a winning title from each shortlist until 11pm on Sunday 30th October, using the following link:  

In addition to voting in the categories above, the public is invited to nominate their favourite book of the year – any book they’ve read in the past year – as the Readers’ Choice winner.

The 2022 Books Are My Bag Readers Awards Shortlist, as chosen by bookshops:


Heaven by Mieko Kawakami (Pan Macmillan)

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson (HarperCollins Publishers)

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield (Pan Macmillan)

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (Vintage Publishing)


Ghost Signs by Stu Hennigan (Bluemoose Books) 

Otherlands: A World in the Making by Dr Thomas Halliday (Penguin Books)

The Transgender Issue by Shon Faye (Penguin Books)

Without Warning and Only Sometimes by Kit de Waal (Headline Publishing Group)


Bless the Daughter Raised by a Voice in her Head by Warsan Shire (Vintage Publishing)

The Fire People: A Collection of British Black and Asian Poetry by Lemn Sissay (Canongate Books Ltd)

Limbic by Peter Scalpello (Cipher Press)

100 Queer Poems edited by Mary Jean Chan and Andrew McMillan (Vintage Publishing)

Young Adult Fiction

All That’s Left in the World by Erik J Brown (Hachette Children’s Group)

I Kissed Shara Wheeler by Casey McQuiston (Pan Macmillan)

The King is Dead by Benjamin Dean (Simon & Schuster Ltd)

When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster Ltd)

Children’s Fiction

Grimwood: Let the Fur Fly by Nadia Shireen (Simon & Schuster) Ltd

Like a Charm by Elle McNicoll (Knights Of Media)

Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good by Louie Stowell (Walker Books Ltd)

Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman (Simon & Schuster Ltd)

Breakthrough Author

Mieko Kawakami, author of HeavenAll the Lovers in the Night, and Breasts and Eggs

(Pan Macmillan)

Alice Oseman, creator of the Heartstopper series (Hachette and HarperCollins)

Jamie Smart, creator of the Bunny vs Monkey series (David Fickling Books)

Gabrielle Zevin, author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Vintage Publishing)

Juno Dawson, shortlisted for the Fiction category, said: “Booksellers are experts. Theyreally know their books so it’s especially flattering to be shortlisted for this prize. Booksellers were the very first people to get copies of Her Majesty’s Royal Coven and they’re absolutely vital for building buzz. Without them, we couldn’t have achieved the success we’ve had this summer. I am absolutely made up to be shortlisted for this prize. What an honour. I had the most fun ever writing Her Majesty’s Royal Coven and it’s been so heartening that booksellers and readers are sharing in that excitement.”

Peter Scalpello, shortlisted for the Poetry category, said: “Aren’t booksellers the best? I’ve been so lucky to have received the support of booksellers around the country and to have had the opportunity to meet many of them this year. It feels very special to be shortlisted for this award, and I am so grateful to the booksellers who have championed Limbic and recommended it to a wider readership. Thank you all!”

Elle McNicoll, shortlisted for the Children’s Fiction category, said: “I’m staggered and speechless at Like A Charm’s Readers Award nomination. The support from booksellershas been what has kept me going during a very tumultuous two years and I never want to take it forgranted. It is also so thrilling to see my fantasy debut get this kind of recognition. I’m amazed andemotional.”

Gabrielle Zevin, shortlisted for Breakthrough Author, said: “I love shortlists! A longlist is fine, too, and certainly has dramatic tension in its favour. But, if given the option, I will always proceed directly to the shortlist. This particular shortlist is a great honour because it has been chosen by booksellers. I feel I’ve done a good job when I’ve impressed the booksellers.”

The Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, now in their seventh year, are the only book awards curated by booksellers, and with winners chosen by readers. The shortlist judging panel comprises: David Coates (Blackwell’s Manchester), Alex Call (Bert’s Books), Helen Tamblyn-Saville (Wonderland Bookshop), Juliet Johnson (Foyles Charing Cross Road) and Gaby Lee (Waterstones).

National Book Tokens is the headline sponsor of the Books Are My Bag Readers and are part of Books Are My Bag – the annual campaign celebrating the vital importance of bookshops.

For more information visit and follow the latest developments on social media @BooksAreMyBag / #BAMBReadersAwards

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