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Press Release: Prizes and Awards
Nigella Presents Vintage Independent Bookshop Of The Year Award To Chorleywood Bookshop

Posted at 11:37AM Thursday 08 Nov 2012

On Tuesday evening, Nigella Lawson presented Chorleywood Bookshop with the 2012 Vintage Independent Bookshop of the Year Award at an event for her new book Nigellissima, hosted by the bookshop at the Royal Masonic School in Rickmansworth.

This is the second year of the award which Vintage Books, an imprint of The Random House Group, launched as part of their 21st anniversary celebrations last year. The winner of the inaugural prize was the White Horse Bookshop in Marlborough, Wiltshire.

Open to any independent bookshop, of any size, the prize is awarded to the bookshop that, in the judges' opinion, demonstrates the most innovation and creativity in promoting and selling Vintage books between the start of the year and the closing date 5th October.

Entries were received from over 30 bookshops across the country and, as with last year, the standard of entries was very high. This year's judges were Kate Gunning, Random House Key Account Manager for Independents; Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, Booksellers Association; Charlotte Williams, reporter at the Bookseller and author and journalist Anthony Quinn.

The Chorleywood Bookshop led an impressive programme of activity throughout the year, including themed events and reading groups, extensive Vintage promotions, local press, school events and an innovative window display inspired by the new Vintage Children's Classics edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Sheryl Shurville and Morag Watkins, owners of Chorleywood Bookshop, said: 'We are absolutely thrilled that Chorleywood has been named Vintage Independent Bookshop of the Year 2012. We never do things by halves and really threw ourselves into the project from day one. It has been tremendous working so closely with Vintage throughout the year. Thank you to Vintage for all their support – and for the prize money, which we will be investing in the bookshop.'

As the winner, Chorleywood Bookshop receives a cheque for £1000, six bottles of champagne, extra terms for the first six months of 2013 on all Vintage titles and a Vintage 'special privileges' ticket for 2013 (i.e. for Vintage author events, signed stock, etc).

Two runners-up were also announced at the Vintage Sales Conference for Independent Bookshops: second prize of £500 was awarded to Red Lion Books, Colchester – a shop that focussed on different sections of the Vintage list at different times of the year, engaging customers with competitions and inviting them to 'sail the seas of their imagination with Vintage Books'. Third prize of £250 was awarded to Dulwich Books, who mounted beautiful displays of Vintage frontlist and backlist titles throughout the year, with a dedicated area of the shop and focussed activity around the launch of Vintage Children's Classics. Both runners up also receive a bottle of champagne and extra terms on Vintage stock for the first six months of 2013.

Meryl Halls commented: 'I was delighted to judge this year's Vintage Independent Bookshop of the Year Award.  It's fantastic to see in the submissions the creativity and flair going on in the independent sector.  Each and every shortlisted submission makes you want to visit the shop and spend time with the booksellers – and at a time of such pressure on high street businesses, it's actually quite thrilling to see what a unique and invaluable role bookshops are playing in the lives of their customers and their communities.'

Anthony Quinn commented: 'It's so heartening to know that the flame of the independent bookshop refuses to be snuffed – indeed, from the evidence of the three bookshop finalists, it burns as brightly as ever. I would consider myself lucky to live in the vicinity of such places. There is nothing – not reviews, not discounts, not advertising – that cheers me as a reader and writer so much as a well-run bookshop that cares about its stock and displays it imaginatively. Well done to Chorleywood Bookshop: long may it prosper.'

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