Market Harborough author Tamsin Winter shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020

Market Harborough writer Tamsin Winter has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2020, widely regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades for children’s books in the UK. Announced today, Thursday 6th February, Winter is nominated in the Older Fiction category for her novel Jemima Small Versus The Universe.

 Tamsin Winter says “I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the brilliant Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. It’s a huge accolade to be selected and I am so thrilled that Jemima’s story of body positivity has resonated with Waterstones’ readers.”

 In Jemima Small Versus the Universe Winter tells the story of Jemima who is funny and super smart and yet sometimes she feels like nothing, especially when she is made to join the school’s “special” healthy lifestyle group – aka Fat Club. This tale of body image, self-esteem and self-acceptance is written with sensitivity and well-judged humour.

Tamsin Winter studied English Literature and Creative Writing and now works as a secondary school English teacher in Leicestershire. Her first novel, Being Miss Nobody, won the Calderdale Book of the Year, the Leicester Secondary Book of the Year and the Hillingdon Secondary Book of the Year, as well as being nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2018 and selected as a Reading Agency Book of the Year and a Reading Rampage 2018 book.  

Every year Waterstones’ expert booksellers are called upon to vote for the books they believe are the very best in new children’s writing and illustration. Now in its sixteenth year, the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize has become a formidable platform for emerging talent, demonstrating its enduring relevance by bringing the best new books to readers’ attention every year and launching the careers of many children’s book authors and illustrators.

Last year’s winner The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf, Waterstones’ most successful winner yet, shot to the top of the bestseller charts following the Prize announcement and the novel saw an increase in sales of over 500%.

The shortlists consist of eighteen books across three categories. Six books will compete within each category to be crowned Category Winner, with the three category winners then vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2020. 

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly (London), Europe’s largest bookshop, on Thursday 26th March, 2020. The winner of each category will receive £2000, with the Overall Winner receiving an extra £3000. In the event that the Prize is awarded to a partnership, then the Prize money will be split equally between the joint winners.

The winning authors and illustrators will also see a significant boost in sales, and the promise of an ongoing commitment to their writing career from all Waterstones shops nationwide.


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