Diverse Book Awards

The shortlists for the Diverse Book Awards 2020, the awards dedicated to diversity in UK writing, were announced on September 30, 2020.

The Diverse Book Awards was created by Abiola Bello and Helen Lewis, founders of The Author School to celebrate the diversity of writing in the UK in November 2019. The new awards are judged by Hashtag BLAK Commissioning Editor Luisa Maria, This Is Book Love founder Samantha Williams, Pen & Inc Editor Rob Green, and CILIP Youth Libraries Group London Chair Caroline Fielding alongside teenagers Rebekah Banda and Alicia Cruz.

The judging panel looked through the texts to select the best diverse book in the three age groups of Children, Young Adult, and Adult in the UK and announced the longlists on August 24. The shortlists announced today have five contenders on the selected categories. Those still in the running for the awards are;

Children’s ​

  • My Hair by Hannah Lee, illustrated, Allen Fatimaharan (Faber & Faber) ​
  • Planet Omar Accidental Trouble Magnet, Zanib Mian, illustrated by Nasaya Mafaridik (Hodder)
  • Son of the Circus, E. L. Norry (Scholastic) ​
  • The Star Outside My Window, by Onjali Q. Rauf (Orion Children’s Books)
  • Tin Boy, Steve Cole, illustrated by Oriol Vidal (Barrington Stoke) ​

Young Adult

  • All The Things We Never Said, Yasmin Rahman (Hot Key Books)
  • Chinglish: An Almost Entirely True Story, Sue Cheung (Andersen Press)
  • The Black Flamingo, Dean Atta (Hodder)
  • The Boxer, Nikesh Shukla (Hodder)
  • The Deathless Girls, Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Hachette) ​


  • Do You Dream of Terra-Two?, Temi Oh (Simon & Schuster)
  • Golden Child. Claire Adam (Faber & Faber)
  • Living The Dream, Isabelle Dupuy (Jacaranda)
  • Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams (Trapeze)
  • This Green and Pleasant Land, Ayisha Malik (Zaffre/Bonnier)

Update: The winners announced on October 22 are were Onjali Q. Rauf for Best Children’s Book, Sue Cheung for Best Young Adult Book, and Ayisha Malik for Best Adult Book.