Nero Book Awards 2023 – Category Winners Announced!

30 January, 2024

Cover shot of The Swifts, Children's Fiction category winner for the 2023 Nero Book AwardsThe category winners for the inaugural Nero Book Awards have been announced. Launched in May 2023, the Nero Book Awards were set up to celebrate the craft of great writing and the joy of reading across four award categories: Children’s Fiction (9-15), Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction.

Congratulations to Beth Lincoln who has been crowned the winner of the Children’s Fiction category for her debut novel The Swifts, illustrated by Claire Powell (Puffin).

Described by the award organisers as a ‘murder mystery full of comedy and high jinks’, The Swifts features a cast of wonderfully eccentric characters led by heroine Shenanigan Swift, who is determined that she will not be defined by her name, whatever the sacred Family Dictionary and her family have to say about the matter. Find out more about the inspiration for The Swifts in this author interview in Books for Keeps.

The Swifts was selected from a shortlist of four titles by a panel of judges made up of children’s booksellers, authors and TV presenters.

A final judging panel led by award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo will now consider all four category winners before choosing one title to be crowned the winner of the Nero Gold Prize, Book of the Year. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday 14th March.

Commenting on the Nero Book Awards, Bernardine Evaristo said: ‘At a time when literature is under threat from the addictive distractions of social media and the internet, literary prizes not only celebrate individual writers and elevate careers, but draw attention to a beautiful art form that requires and rewards sustained concentration and engagement with words, other people’s lives, and the imagination. The Nero Book Awards are a major new prize. I’m looking forward to chairing the Nero Gold Prize, and selecting a book from the category winners that offers readers exceptional riches, one which we judges think deserves to be honoured as the overall book of the year.’

Fiction Category Winner 2023

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton)

Debut Fiction Category Winner 2023

Close to Home by Michael Magee (Hamish Hamilton)

Non-Fiction Category Winner 2023

Strong Female Character by Fern Brady (Brazen)

Logo for the new Nero Book Awards, including Nero Children's Book Award