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The Nero Book Awards launched in partnership with Brunel University London


The premium coffee house Caffè Nero has today announced the launch of the Nero Book Awards, delivered in partnership with Brunel University London, The Booksellers Association and Right To Dream.

The Nero Book Awards are a new set of multi-category Awards celebrating the craft of great writing and the joy of reading, and are open to writers based in the UK and Ireland.

With a mission to point readers of all ages and interests in the direction of the best books of the year, the Awards aim to recognise outstanding writing and readability. Established as a not-for-profit organisation, the Nero Book Awards will be run and underwritten by the independent, family-owned coffee house group, Caffè Nero.

At Brunel University London, undergraduate and postgraduate Creative Writing students learn from some of the most respected names in the industry, including recent high-profile award-winners Prof Bernardine Evaristo (for her novel Girl, Woman, Other) and Dr Hannah Lowe (for her poetry collection The Kids).

Nurturing independent writers

Prof Andrew Jones, Brunel University London’s Vice-Chancellor and President, said: “We have some of Britain’s most celebrated, talented, original and experienced writers actively publishing in the industry today, in a diverse and inspirational Creative Writing department that consistently ranks among the top 10 in the country. And we’re proud of our track record of nurturing independent writers who can confidently explore their imagination and express themselves on the page.

“Caffè Nero’s long-standing support for the arts, and the ethos of the Nero Book Awards to stimulate and celebrate the best of writers in the UK and Ireland, aligns perfectly with what Creative Writing at Brunel University London stands for. We are proud to be partners in this important initiative.”

The Awards will recognise the most outstanding books of the year across four categories: Children’s Fiction, Fiction, Debut Fiction and Non-Fiction. Judges from across the world of books will select shortlists of outstanding books of the year in each category, choosing the books they would most want to recommend to others.

The Nero Book Awards will be administered by The Booksellers Association, the trade organisation that represents booksellers across the country. The Awards will also be in partnership with Right To Dream, a charity dedicated to expanding people’s understanding of excellence through football, believing that every talent deserves a fair shot at pursuing their dreams, whatever they may be.

Supporting the up-and-coming

Gerry Ford, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Caffè Nero, commented: “Caffè Nero was founded in 1997 on the principle of being a warm and welcoming neighbourhood gathering spot, a place to bring people together. Our venues were intended as and have come to be gathering spots where people come to talk, read and discuss issues of the day.

“Most of our stores are filled with books. Moreover, for the past two decades we have been supporting the arts in a variety of ways. Over the years we have partnered with Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery, British Museum, The National Gallery, V&A and the Royal Academy of Arts. In the music industry we are also known as keen supporters of the ‘talented but yet to make it’; we are the place that supports and helps outstanding up-and-coming singer songwriters.

“So, with the arts as part of our company culture – these Awards are a natural fit for us.”

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Booksellers Association, added: “This is a hugely exciting moment for the world of books. The Nero Book Awards do that rare thing of celebrating books across multiple genres, with an emphasis on commercial books with wide appeal. With its brand values centred around quality, craft and community, plus its strong existing connection to the arts, Caffè Nero is a perfect partner with whom to establish these brand-new Awards.

“The Nero Book Awards are first and foremost for readers, but their impact will be felt widely – by authors, publishers, agents, book retailers, libraries and festivals – as they create discussion around nominated books and drive consumer engagement with bookshops and libraries. We at The Booksellers Association, and on behalf of our bookshop members, welcome the opportunities these Awards offer the world of books, by celebrating and showcasing the writing talent in the UK and Ireland.”

£50k prize fund

The inaugural Awards will open for entries on 19 June 2023 across four categories: Children’s Fiction, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction. Terms and Conditions for the Awards can be found at

Shortlisted books, category winners, and an overall winner of the Nero Gold Prize, will be selected by judges – from booksellers and authors to media commentators and influencers. The shortlist of 16 books (four per category) will be announced in November 2023. This will be followed by an announcement of the four Category Winners in January 2024. Then, in February at an Awards ceremony, the overall winner will be revealed.

The Awards prize fund totals £50,000, with the four Category Award winners receiving £5,000 each and the winner of the Book of the Year receiving an additional £30,000.

The Awards will be run day-to-day by a Management Team who have previously worked on all major UK book Awards.

Find out more about the Nero Book Awards – and about Creative Writing at Brunel University London

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