What the book awards are about

The society is keen to encourage the writing of well-researched, interesting and readable books in the field of transport history, and the annual Book of the Year awards were started in 2004 to help achieve this. Each year the society presents special framed certificates and cash awards to the authors of leading books in one or more categories: Railway, Canal, and Other Transport. There is also a Popular category for books which, while not based on original research of primary sources, nevertheless in the opinion of the judges add something worthwhile to the body of transport history. The judges then select an overall winner who receives a further cash award and the David St John Thomas silver cup to be held by the author for a year. The awards are made possible by a generous legacy from our late member David St John Thomas – author of numerous books himself and well-known as a founder of the David & Charles publishing house.

How the winners are decided

The society’s Journal carries a substantial book review section and eligible books are those on transport subjects that receive the best reviews in this. Currently there are some further qualifications. For example, books in categories other than Popular must be serious historical works based on original research, with subject matter primarily from the British Isles. Although quality of writing is important, reference works are also eligible and subject to appropriate assessment. The shortlisted books are considered by a panel of judges drawn from the membership of the society and the winners are announced at a ceremony at the society’s AGM in April/May each year.

How to enter books for the awards

If you are an author or publisher of books on transport subjects that you wish to be considered for an award, then please submit copies to the Journal for review. Books reviewed in the Journal issues of July 2017, November 2017 and March 2018 are eligible for the 2018 awards; please contact the Book Review Editor for more information. If you would like to know more about the Book Awards scheme, please contact the Book Awards Administrator

For details of the 2017 short listed and winning books use the link: 2017 Book Awards.