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T INTRODUCTION


his year’s belated British Book Awards are notable for a number of firsts. I’ll tackle the obvious one first. The Nibbies celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and for the


only time in that history, thanks to the lockdown, we have been unable to host the event in person, with this year’s winners revealed during our virtual event held on 29th June. Our judging, which began in March and concluded


in April, was also done remotely, though with discussions no less intense than in previous years. Like many events organisers, working virtually has given us a different perspective on the awards, and we’ll look to the lessons of 2020 as we envision the 2021 event, and a return to the Grosvenor. There is also something happening among the


winners. It is the first time a black British writer has been selected as Author of the Year (Aravind Adiga and Salman Rushdie were previous authors of colour to have won). It is also the first time the overall Book of the Year has been won by a black British writer. You only need to watch the winners’ videos to


see the importance of these moments, and why we were glad (despite the challenges) to reward the hard work done across 2019 in the writing, publishing, and selling of our Nibbies winners. My congratulations to all of our winners; my


thanks to this year’s judges, sponsors and partners, who have supported this year’s version of the awards as they have done during the previous three decades. It’s been a long few months for the team behind it all at The Bookseller, and so my final thanks to them—it’s been quite a journey.


PHILIP JONES EDITOR, THE BOOKSELLER


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