“Female Empowerment” Literary Line-Up London’s BIG READ 2019 Shortlist Confirmed

Finalists in London's BIG READ L-R Amy Acre & Jake Wild Hall, Emilie McMeekan, Jenni Murray, Laura Dockrill, Abiola Bello, Katherine Webber (C. Nigel Pacquette)

London’s BIG READ 2019, a campaign that aims to bring London together through the discovery of great books, launched last night at LIBRARY on St Martin’s Lane in London.

Fourteen authors including Dolly Alderton, Jenni Murray, Sabrina Mahfouz and Sophie Mackintosh, were announced as finalists in the initiative that will see Londoners selecting their favourite book of 2019. The online voting will be open from World Book Day (7th March 2019) to 30th June. *Please see Notes to Editors for the full shortlist.

London’s BIG READ, now in its second year, was created to bring London together through reading books that expand our understanding of our community and express the diversity of this great city.

Ronald Ndoro, Founder of LIBRARY, said: “We are delighted that London’s BIG READ has found such strong resonance and support in its second edition and will continue to do so throughout this year-long campaign. Our hope is that this activity will bring Londoners together in conversation, shine a light on pressing issues around female empowerment, and – through our charity partnership – support the tremendous work that The Children’s Literacy Charity does in setting up Literacy Labs across London.”

Matthew Hickey, Chief Executive of The Children’s Literacy Charity, added: “We are small but we’re making a big difference through our specialist literacy support for disadvantaged children. Every year, 150,000 of the poorest children start school with language skills one and a half years behind their peers, a gap they won’t recover from. We want to do more, for more children, in more places, more often, so that we can give children the best literacy start to their lives. We have supported over 4,000 children in the last decade and want to build on this for our future. We are both excited and proud to partner with London’s BIG READ to not only help the charity grow, but most importantly to support more children to make the most of their literacy development. Through London’s BIG READ and our Big Give Christmas Challenge we hope to raise funds, which will allow the charity to support more children across London, and beyond.”

The 2019 theme is female empowerment. June Sarpong, author of Diversify, was the inaugural winner of London’s BIG READ 2018, with a theme of diversity. Over the next ten months, the 2019 campaign is designed to encourage Londoners to get excited about reading, discover new books, and vote for their ‘favourite book of 2019′ athttp://www.bigread.london/.

From January 2019 onwards, the shortlisted authors and their books, will be promoted through a series of talks and events at LIBRARY, centred on the topic of female empowerment, covering mental health, family, relationships, gender equality, careers/work and much more. Copies of the books will be placed on tubes and trains across the City, and the organisers have teamed up with London Book Fair, booksellers, libraries, universities and publishers to raise awareness about the Finalists and the wider London’s BIG READ campaign.

London’s BIG READ 2019 aims to raise money through myriad fundraising activities throughout the year for the Children’s Literary Charity and Ndoro Children’s Charity, culminating in a gala ceremony and fundraising auction in September 2019 to announce the winner.

The Finalist books will be available to buy from LIBRARY from December 2018, with £1 from each sale going to the Children’s Literacy Charity and a further £1 going to the Ndoro Children’s Charity.