Second year for Amazon's Kindle award for self-published writers, presented last night at Royal Society by Lorraine Kelly
Hannah Lynn has been crowned the winner of the second UK Kindle Storyteller Award at an award ceremony at the Royal Society last night, with her novel The Afterlife of Walter Augustus securing the £20,000 cash prize.
The Afterlife of Walter Augustus follows the character of Walter, who has been stuck for decades in the Interim – a posthumous waiting room for those still remembered on Earth – and Letty Ferguson, a middle-aged shoe saleswoman whose life takes on an extraordinary dimension when she takes possession of an unassuming poetry anthology.
Lynn said: "I can’t quite believe I’ve won the Kindle Storyteller Award and it’s all a bit overwhelming! It’s an honour to have been chosen and winning the award has inspired me to keep writing and to enjoy it as much as possible. I’m not sure what I’ll spend the prize money on yet but I have promised my daughter I would buy her two Julia Donaldson books!"
From thousands of entries, a shortlist of five authors was selected based on a number of factors driven by customer interest in the titles. Alongside the winning title, the shortlist included a range of genres from fantasy to romance and non-fiction.
The judging panel included journalist, author and TV personality Lorraine Kelly; best-selling author LJ Ross; Irish author and founder of The Alliance of Independent Authors, Orna Ross and last year’s winner of the Kindle Storyteller Award David Leadbeater, alongside some of Amazon’s book team. In addition to the prize money, Lynn will receive a marketing campaign to support the book on Amazon.co.uk, access to a mentor and the opportunity to have her book translated.
Kelly said of her involvement: "I was thrilled to be involved in the judging process of this year’s award, and I especially love that we were able to celebrate authors across a wide variety of genres. I hope Hannah’s win will inspire others to get writing."
Claire Johnson, UK Kindle content director and one of the judges, said: "It was incredibly tough to decide on a winner, especially when the shortlist featured such brilliant talent. Hannah’s book was a heart-warming and clever tale that will make you laugh and cry. It really captured the judges’ imaginations."
The Kindle Storyteller Award is in its second year and was established to recognise newly published work in the English language across any genre. The prize was open to all authors who published their book through Kindle Direct Publishing on Amazon.co.uk between 1st May and 31st August 2018.
"This year we had thousands of entries from all over the world", said Alessio Santarelli, EU Kindle content director. "From fantasy to fiction, politics to poetry, there was something for every reader. We want Kindle Direct Publishing to inspire and empower authors to tell their stories for many years to come."
Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) is described as 'a fast, free and easy way for authors to publish their books in print and digital to a global audience, and receive up to 70 per cent royalties on their work. On any given day, up to 25 per cent of the Top 100 books on the UK Kindle store are published by authors who have decided to keep control by going it alone through KDP. Readers can access the shortlisted titles in print or on the Kindle Store on any device with the free Kindle app for iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, PC and Mac, and on Kindle e-readers and Fire Tablets.'