LBF International Excellence Awards 2021: SHORTLIST REVEALED

  • Fifteen countries featured in shortlist
  • USA leads nominations with four entries
  • Singapore and Bulgaria shortlisted for the first time

The shortlists for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2021 have been announced today, with fifteen countries represented across five continents.

The awards, held in partnership with the Publishers Association and now in their eighth year, celebrate publishing achievement across seven categories, recognising those organisations and individuals demonstrating remarkable originality, creativity, and innovation within the industry. The shortlist for each award category was selected by a judging panel comprised of experts within that sector.

In addition to Singapore and Bulgaria receiving their first International Excellence Awards shortlist entry, USA (4), India (2), and Germany (2) all received multiple entries.

Competition for the Literary Translation Initiative Award is fierce this year, with four organisations being shortlisted for the prize; Editora Trinta Zero Nove (Mozambique), Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (Bulgaria), Tender Leaves Translation (Singapore) and Uebersetzen (Germany). The coveted Bookstore of the Year title will be awarded to one of three shortlisted bookshops from across the world; Avid Reader (Australia), Cărturești (Romania) or Livraria Lello (Portugal). Libraries in the running to win the Library of the Year Award are Ghana Library Authority (Ghana), Kenya National Library Services – Embu Branch (Kenya) and Public Library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica (Croatia). 2019 shortlistee Karadi Path Education Company (India) will be hoping to take home the Educational Learning Resources Award this year, facing competition from Good Luck Publishers (India) and Words Without Borders (USA). ABUK (Ukraine), Findaway Voices (USA), and Macmillan Audio (USA) are all vying for this year’s Audiobook Publisher Award. Rights professionals Nora Mercurio (Germany), Marina Huguet-Cuevas (Spain) and Szilvia Molnar (USA) are shortlisted for the Rights Professional Award. Finally, the UK based Inclusivity in Publishing Award shortlist features Hachette, Lantana and Springer Nature, all of whom have been praised for their diversity and inclusion work.

Andy Ventris, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “It is so inspiring to see the incredible work being done by the LBF International Excellence Awards 2021 shortlistees in a year which has challenged every facet of the publishing industry. Facing unprecedented obstacles with determination and creativity, these fifteen entries demonstrate the passion that powers the publishing industry all around the globe.

“Books have been a special haven for so many of us in recent times, and we are honoured to celebrate the role our shortlistees have played in bringing reading and knowledge to their communities and beyond. We wish all the shortlistees the best of luck, and look forward to announcing the winners in May.”

Stephen Lotinga, Chief Executive, the Publishers Association, said: “It’s brilliant to see such a great shortlist for this year’s International Excellence Awards. The work being done by publishers, booksellers and librarians around the world is truly inspiring. Especially in such challenging times when books are more important to people than ever. Congratulations to you all.”

The full shortlist of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards is:

  • The Audiobook Publisher of the Year
    • ABUK (Ukraine)
    • Findaway Voices (USA)
    • Macmillan Audio (USA)


  • The Bookstore of the Year Award
    • Avid Reader (Australia)
    • Cărturești (Romania)
    • Livraria Lello (Portugal)


  • The Educational Learning Resources Award
    • Good Luck Publishers (India)
    • Karadi Path Education Company (India)
    • Words Without Borders (United States)
  • The Library of the Year Award
    • Ghana Library Authority (Ghana)
    • Kenya National Library Services – Embu Branch (Kenya)
    • Public Library “Fran Galovic” Koprivnica (Croatia)


  • The Literary Translation Initiative Award
    • Editora Trinta Zero Nove (Mozambique)
    • Elizabeth Kostova Foundation (Bulgaria)
    • Tender Leaves Translation (Singapore)
    • Uebersetzen (Germany)


  • The Rights Professional Award
    • Marina Huguet-Cuevas (Spain)
    • Nora Mercurio (Germany)
    • Szilvia Molnar (USA)

Eligible for entries from the UK only:

  • Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association
    • Hachette
    • Lantana Publishing
    • Springer Nature

The winners of the International Excellence Awards, as well as the recipient of the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award, will be announced in May. Virtual events with the winners will take place ahead of the London Book Fair in June, with details to follow. The London Book Fair 2021 will go ahead as a digital only event, creating opportunities for the publishing industry to meet online, following the impact of the global pandemic.