The most prolific man in letters, James Patterson, has bestowed upon 20 UK booksellers the Young Bookseller Special Achievement Award in recognition of their “talent and extraordinary contribution to the bookselling industry.”
Bestselling author/philanthropist Patterson (whose has sold somewhere north of 300 million books over the course of his 40 year career) announced plans for the award in March in an effort to bring attention to bookshops and to encourage young people to enter the industry.
The winners, all booksellers aged 25 and under, have worked in a bookshop for at least 12 months. They will each receive a prize of £500 each. Candidates were nominated by their managers or colleagues from bookstores across Britain and Ireland.
As Katie Mansfield of The Bookseller reports: “This award is the latest of Patterson’s numerous financial donations to support bookshops. In the past five years, Patterson has donated £500,000 to independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland to encourage children to read. This has funded projects ranging from refurbishment and expansion of children’s sections to organising a bedtime reading project. In 2013, Patterson pledged $1 million to US bookshops which funded everything from customising a school bus as a mobile bookshop to providing free books for underprivileged children.”