Authors and publishers of books with a local flavour are encouraged to enter the fifth annual East Anglian Book Awards, which celebrate the best new books focusing on our part of the world. Here we reveal the categories and how to take part.

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The fifth annual EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards are open for entries, with the aim of celebrating the finest new writing about Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland.

Since they began in 2008 the awards have striven to reflect the high quality of books published on subjects connected to our part of the world, ranging from novels and memoirs to nature-writing and travel guides.

Every year the best entries have been highlighted at an awards ceremony attended by shortlisted authors, publishers and lovers of East Anglian literature, when a string of category winners are announced and one of them declared the East Anglian Book of the Year.

Some category winners are by authors and publishers of national renown, others are by local writers and published by independent East Anglian presses – what all have in common is that they are well written, published for the first time within the past year and add to our feeling for East Anglia.

This year the awards, supported by Writers’ Centre Norwich, contain seven categories and they are:

FICTION

Novels and short stories predominantly set in Norfolk, Suffolk or Fenland.

POETRY

Collections or pamphlets of poetry that are inspired by our region.

NATURE AND PLACES

Books about the nature or landscape of East Anglia.

ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY

Works compiling art and/or photography depicting the region.

HISTORY AND TRADITION

Histories, studies of folklore, and works on local culture or dialect.

BIOGRAPHY AND MEMOIR

Life stories written about a person living in Norfolk, Suffolk or Fenland.

GUIDEBOOKS AND TRAVEL

Books describing walks, tours or attractions to visit in East Anglia.

The entries will be assessed by a panel of judges soon to be announced, and in the autumn they will unveil a shortlist of three books in each category.

The winners will then be revealed at this year’s East Anglian Book Awards evening, which will feature a reading from a high-profile author, the awards ceremony and a meal.

Last November about 100 people gathered at the Assembly House in Norwich to learn the winners of the 2011 awards.

They heard guest speaker Mark Cocker, the leading nature writer and environmentalist who lives near Norwich, give an impassioned tribute to East Anglia’s value as a source of artistic and literary inspiration.

Mr Cocker then presented the prizes to the winners, and announced the East Anglian Book of the Year as Diana Souhami’s biography of Edith Cavell.

Eastern Daily Press Books editor Keiron Pim, who helps organise and judge the awards, said: “As the East Anglian Book Awards reach their fifth year we are delighted to see them established as a fixture in the region’s cultural calendar.

“Every year they are organised as a collaboration between the EDP and Jarrold with the valued support of Writers’ Centre Norwich, which does so much to foster Norfolk’s thriving literary culture.

“The awards emphasise the vibrancy of local literary life, proving how inspiring the people and landscapes of Norfolk, Suffolk and Fenland can be to writers. Last year they attracted entries as diverse as a digital reconstruction of William Faden’s 18th century map of Norfolk and a poetry collection imagining the voices of ancient East Anglians.

“I am greatly looking forward to seeing what this year brings,” he added.

The deadline for submissions for the 2012 East Anglian Book Awards is July 31 and, to be eligible for entry this year, books must have been published between August 1, 2011, and July 31, 2012.

To enter the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards, supported by Writers’ Centre Norwich, please send two copies of the book to Keiron Pim, Eastern Daily Press, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE, marking the package ‘East Anglian Book Awards’ and including a covering letter stating your contact details and which category you are entering.

For further details, telephone 01603 772431 or email keiron.pim@archant.co.uk. Normal Archant competition rules apply.

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