Winning Authors, Illustrators & Publishers Celebrated At Fourth Diverse Book Awards In Waterstones Piccadilly!


Last night (25th October 2023), 130 people gathered to discover the winners of The Diverse Book Awards 2023.

The party, held at Waterstones Piccadilly in London, saw publishers, authors, illustrators and literary agents from across the UK come together to celebrate the winning diverse books.

Unfortunately, due to illness, Malorie Blackman was unable to attend in person to accept the inaugural Malorie Blackman Impact Award, sponsored by Literally PR, but said, “I want to say a HUGE thank you to Abiola Bello and Helen Lewis for creating the Diverse Book Awards which I believe is now in its fourth year. They wanted to shine a welcome spotlight on marginalised voices in the publishing world and that is indeed what they have done. I’m so honoured and humbled to launch the new Malorie Blackman Impact Award, to be given to those who have committed to diversity and inclusion in publishing. I can think of no greater accolade than to have such an award named after me. Best believe I shall be there in person to award it to the next recipient.”

Yesterday, as the fourth Diverse Book Awards winners were officially revealed, the hope is that the longlist, shortlist and winner lists will become essential reading on a national level, highlighting the outstanding diverse and inclusive books published by authors based in the UK and Ireland.

Guests enjoyed a beautiful DBAs cake decorated with the shortlisted book covers, rum punch, and delicious canapes. Held on the third floor of the biggest bookshop in Europe, the music and positive, celebratory atmosphere was more like a party than a publishing event.

Abiola Bello, co-founder of The DBAs: “It’s always so exciting to see the reactions on everyone’s faces when we announce the winners. I am so proud to part of that line-up and thank you readers for voting for Love In Winter Wonderland to win the YA Readers’ Choice. Celebrating diverse books with the most talented people is something I don’t take for granted and I urge every school and bookstore to buy these fantastic books!”

Helen Lewis, co-founder of The DBAs: “As always, it was a great atmosphere last night at The Diverse Book Awards party. We are grateful to everyone who made the effort to join us to celebrate the incredible books that have been longlisted, shortlisted and of course the winners of The Diverse Book Awards 2023. What a privilege and honour to be in a room with so much incredible talent. I am so proud of the awards and can’t wait to see what amazing things come next for everyone involved.”

The Diverse Book Awards Winners 2023

WINNER – The Diverse Book Awards 2023 – Picture Books

Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande, illustrated by Ruchi Mhansane (Andersen Press)

In second place:

Nour’s Secret Library by Wafa Tarnowska, illustrated by Vali Mintzi (Barefoot Books)

In third place:

Our Tower by Joseph Coelho, illustrated by Richard Johnson (Frances Lincoln Children’s Books)

WINNER – The Diverse Book Awards 2023 – Children’s

The Lizzie and Belle Mysteries: Drama and Danger by J.T. Williams and illustrated by Simone Douglas (Farshore)

In second place:

The Twig Man by Sana Rasoul (Hashtag Press)

In third place:

A Flash of Fireflies by Aisha Bushby (Farshore)

WINNER – The Diverse Book Awards 2023 – YA

When Our Worlds Collided by Danielle Jawando (Simon & Schuster)

In second place:

Love In Winter Wonderland by Abiola Bello (Simon & Schuster)

In third place:

If You Still Recognise Me by Cynthia So (Little Tiger)

WINNER – The Diverse Book Awards 2023 – Adult

One for Sorry, Two for Joy by Marie-Claire Amuah (Oneworld)

In second place:

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn (Viking)

In third place:

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye (Pan Macmillan)

The Diverse Book Awards Readers’ Choice Award 2023

New for 2023 is the Readers’ Choice Award in Picture Books, Children’s, YA and Adult! There were almost 1,000 votes for this prize across the categories, 100 received in the first hour alone, which for the first year of its life is pretty amazing. Each of the 2023 longlisted books were open to votes from the announcement of the longlist through to the announcement of the shortlist.

The Diverse Book Awards 2023 Readers’ Choice Award – Picture Books


With 23.2% of the vote…

Small’s Big Dream by Manjeet Mann, illustrated by Amanda Quartey, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books.

In second place, with 15.9% of the vote…

Me and My Dysphoria Monster by Laura Kate Dale, illustrated by Ang Hui Qin, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

In third place, with 9.6% of the vote…

John Agard’s Windrush Child by John Agard, illustrated by Sophie Bass, published by Walker Books.

The Diverse Book Awards 2023 Readers’ Choice Award – Children’s


With 21.2% of the vote…

The Twig Man by Sana Rasoul, published by Hashtag Press.

In second place with 10.1% of the vote…

Keep Dancing Lizzie Chu by Maisie Chan, published by Piccadilly Press.

In third place with 9.1% of the vote…

Sadé and the Shadow Beasts by Rachel Faturoti, illustrated by Rumbidzai Savanhu, published by Hodder Children’s Books.

The Diverse Book Awards 2023 Readers’ Choice Award – YA

With 21.6% of the vote…

Love In Winter Wonderland, by Abiola Bello, published by Simon & Schuster

In second place, with 15.5% of the vote…

Gay Club! By Simon James Green, published by Scholastic.

In third place, with 12.6% of the vote…

Toxic by Natasha Devon, published by UClan Publishing.

The Diverse Book Awards 2023 Readers’ Choice Award – Adult

With 22.8% of the vote…

Still Lives by Reshma Rui, published by Renard Press

In second place, with 19.9% of the vote…

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, published by Viking.

In third place, with 17.1% of the vote…

The Attic Child by Lola Jaye, published by Pan Macmillan.


The 2024 Diverse Book Awards will reopen for nominations in mid-January 2024 to mid-March 2024. For more news and updates, please visit and join the mailing list.

An online ‘winners panel’ event will be held on 9th November at 7pm: