We are delighted to announce that New Writing North has been shortlisted for The Bookseller Industry Awards 2011 in the Library Innovation of the Year category. The nomination is for the 2010 Read Regional project, which connected local writers to local libraries via a high-profile promotional campaign, author events and activities, including beach reading events and free giveaways of books on the Tyne and Wear Metro. The campaign is supported by 90% of libraries across the North East who between them last year bought over £5,000 of books by local writers as part of the project. Events reached over 11,000 people who attended events and read the featured books as part of book clubs and private borrowing.

The nomination was warmly welcomed by New Writing North director Claire Malcolm, who said: ‘This is great acknowledgement of Read Regional and confirms the project not just as a great regional treasure for the North East but also as an identified innovative project on the national stage. At a time when many libraries are suffering reduced staffing and book purchasing power it is a credit to libraries in the North East who continue to see the value in supporting this project.’

The winner will be announced at a prize-giving event in London on 16 May.

The Read Regional project is a three-year programme of work that is funded by a £150,000 grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and supported by Arts Council England.

The 2011 campaign will launch on 7 May at Hexham Book Festival. You can view the 2010 activity at www.readregional.com.