East Anglian Book Awards

To Norwich, Thursday evening, for the 2012 East Anglian Book Awards,

Supported by Eastern Daily Press and Jarrold, the department store.

A trace of the eighteenth century,

The celebration of letters

In the elegant Assembly House –

All proudly provincial,

The speakers and judges as if plucked from a who’s who of Norwich.

The books all celebrating or inspired by East Anglia,

Defined as ‘Norfolk, Suffolk, and the Fens’

(Questionably – isn’t Fenland a region on its own?).

Seven category winners:

Fiction (Ninepins by Rosy Thornton);

Poetry (Kevin Crossley-Holland, The mountains of Norfolk);

History and tradition (Strangers by Frank Meeres);

Biography and memoir (Ronald Blythe, At the yeoman’s house);

Nature and places (Candy Whittome, The last hunters);

Art and photography (Tidelines by Ian Collins);

Travel and guidebooks (Bruce and Mike Robinson, The Peddar’s Way and Norfolk Coastal Path)

The last hunters the overall winner,

Telling the story of Cromer’s crab-fishing community –

‘Stroppy buggers’, the author says.

Sitting at dinner between

The Chair of East Anglian Writers

And a business professor whose extra-curricular thriller has just been published,

The evening making up in pride of creativity

For any lack of glamour,

I found myself thinking,

I’d take this over the Booker awards, any time.

Reminds me why I work in publishing.



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