Southern Schools Book Award 2020 Awards Ceremony

Friday 23 April 2021

This is the year we went online!

Sadly Coronavirus meant we couldn’t meet in person, but our online Presentation allowed more people to see the event.

Four of our shortlisted final five authors were able to send a recording of themselves; Joseph Elliott (‘The Good Hawk’); Bex Hogan (‘Viper’); Melinda Salisbury (‘Hold back the tide’) and Nikesh Shukla (‘The Boxer’) – Holly Jackson (‘A good girl’s guide to murder’) was sadly unable to participate.

All the participating schools had been reading the five books over the preceding months – even through lockdown! – with a vote taking place in early March.


Bex Hogan was the worthy winner with her book ‘Viper’.

When asked which was the most interesting relationship to write she replied the one between Marianne and her father. With each draft she had pushed things a little further, asking ‘how nasty cruel and manipulative could I make Adler?’

Nikesh Shukla won highly commended for ‘The Boxer’. He spoke about how the book was based on a personal experience when he was nearly attacked on a train and subsequently took up boxing. He admitted it was one of his most personal books.


There was even a lovely thank you from Bex on her Twitter!

It was a lovely celebration of some brilliant books and if lockdown has taught us anything, it is about the power of reading.

Next year we hope to see you all in person (fingers crossed)…