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SPONSOR


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  


SMALL PRESS OF THE YEAR JACARANDA


THE SHORTLIST


WINNER  LONDON


 NORTH ENGLAND


 WALES


 MIDLANDS


  SOUTH-WEST ENGLAND


 SCOTLAND


 


EAST/SOUTH-EAST ENGLAND


 IRELAND


 LONDON


F


rom a shortlist packed with dynamic, nimble and ambitious small presses, Jacaranda stood out for its stellar growth and industry-leading efforts


to improve diversity in UK publishing. Under founder Valerie Brandes and a small


team, Jacaranda has been publishing for eight years, and its work reached a new peak in 2019. As well as continuing its mission of breaking new BAME voices in fiction, it pushed deeper into non-fiction with its A Quick Ting On series to celebrate black Britishness (led by Bookseller Rising Star Magdalene Abraha), and started up a new YA list. Early on in the year it made a big statement to the trade and media by teeing up a #TwentyIn2020 initiative that will see it publish 20 black British writers this year—a move that has won support from major partners including Foyles, Audible, the London Library and the Words Weekend Festival.


25 Publishing wasn’t just culturally valuable,


but commercially successful too. Retail sales doubled, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce operation launched, and rights turnover grew exponentially. There was critical acclaim for authors including Bernice McFadden, Shola von Reinhold and Frances Mensah Williams. Jacaranda adds this prize to the London Book


Fair’s 2019 International Excellence Award for Inclusivity. “Jacaranda has held the torch for diversity in publishing for a long time—and long before major publishers finally got on the train,” said the judges. “It’s built a great list and has a clear, vitally important mission… the whole population should be inspired to read its books.” Like many small presses, Jacaranda has


been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. But its #InclusiveIndies crowdfunder, run with fellow indie Knights Of, has reminded the trade of its hugely important work.


AUTHORS PARTICIPATING IN THE TWENTYIN20 SCHEME, PICTURED AT THE LONDON LIBRARY


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