Here are the runners and riders.
The Astronaut, the Cake, and Tomorrow by Matt Sisson (Author), Matthew James Kay (Illustrator).Matt Sisson’s debut book was a labour of love. The West Bridgfordian spent three years writing the book which examines environmental and financial crises and how they’re connected. Sisson is a communications officer at Loughborough University. A chance meeting with the publisher Searching Finance led to him writing the book. His long-time friend Matthew Kay created the illustrations. Both men are in their early 30s.
Smart by Kim Slater
Kim Slater lives in Nottingham and works in the Education sector. At the age of forty, she returned to Uni gaining a first-class honours degree and an MA, both in English/Creative Writing. Smart is her debut novel. It’s an uplifting story about a boy with learning difficulties out to solve the mysterious death of a homeless man. Moving and compelling this is a YA novel with a loveable character at its heart; a young boy that uses his art and unique mind to triumph in a world that doesn't understand him.
Common Ground by DA Prince
Common Ground is DA Prince’s second full collection of poetry. The poems here are graceful and investigative: they relish the space between a journey’s beginning and its destination, an opportunity to catch the world off-guard. Prince belongs to SoundsWrite, a Leicester-based poetry group for women, and attends the Poetry Society Stanza in Market Harborough whenever she can.
The Bullet-Catcher's Daughter (Fall of the Gaslit Empire Duology) by Rod Duncan
A finalist for the 2014 Phillip K. Dick Award, The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter is a fantasy novel from Leicestershire’s Rod Duncan, a published crime writer with a background in scientific research and computing. The novel follows Elizabeth Barnabus’ double life – as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus.
“The East Midlands Book Award is a reminder of the exceptional writing happening in this region. I’ve been involved in the writing scene here for more years than I care to admit. But I’ve never seen a more vibrant, diverse and creative mix than we have right now. To be shortlisted is a great honour.” Rod Duncan
We Bleed The Same (The Anjelican Saga) by David Wilkinson
David Wilkinson’s debut novel is a work of science fiction. Wilkinson is a physicist and lives in Ashby de la Zouch. His stories are devoted to plot and characters. A visiting fellow at Nottingham Trent University, Wilkinson learned his trade with Writing East Midlands, and is now a member of the established Leicester Writers' Club.
Towns in Britain by Jones the Planner (Adrian Jones and Chris Matthews)
A lavishly illustrated book that looks at what is happening to our cities today, and is essential reading for those interested in urban design, architecture,and planning. Adrian Jones is a writer and consultant with over 30 years of experience of town and transport design/planning. He’s also an Honorary Doctor of Design, Nottingham Trent University. Chris Matthews is a local historian and graphic designer.
The winner of the East Midlands' Book Award for 2015 will be announced on 30 June at Bromley House Library in Nottingham.