How the Award works

Every year, a shortlist of around six to eight books are chosen in time for the start of September term. The books are chosen to reflect that year’s theme, to provide reasonable ‘stretch’ for students and to be accessible for students in Years 7-9. An optional “Trinity Plus” list is suggested; these are books on the same theme aimed at your more gifted or your older students, who may have read the shortlist.

The winning book is chosen from the shortlist only. Every student will have a vote on their favourite book by February half term, and the participating schools will be emailed out instructions on how to vote before this. We invite the shortlisted authors to attend the Awards Ceremony, and have been lucky with at least three authors attending so far in previous years.

In addition to the award itself, we run a student competition open to all participating schools. Each school can submit up to two of their best student competition entries in each of two categories: Review (this can take any form, print or online) and Creative Response. From these, four overall student prizes will be awarded for the best entry and runner-up in each category. Student competition entries may be in response to books on the shortlist or the optional Trinity Plus list. The Creative Response is one of the unique features of the TSBA: past entries have included an original music composition/score, a board game, an ice sculpture, a cake, a jigsaw puzzle, artwork, fan fiction and more!  A selection is displayed at the Ceremony, and seeing these is a highlight for many, including our author guests.

The Awards Ceremony takes place at one of the participating schools around March, just before the end of the Spring Term.  Schools are invited to bring students to the ceremony if they have chosen that option when signing up. How many students can be invited depends on the venue each year – but at least 10 plus staff. The Ceremony is a celebration of all the shortlisted books and students’ responses to them. There is a question-and-answer session with a panel of authors who are able to attend. The winners of the student competitions are announced, then the winning book of that year’s TSBA is finally revealed.

When you have paid your fees to take part, you will be given a password to the Members Only downloads area.  This contains downloadable supporting material: order forms (books may be ordered through Browns Books for Students at a 30% discount); judging criteria, posters, bookmarks and reading guides for the shortlisted books.

If you have any questions, please email Caroline Roche.