A CORBRIDGE bookshop is a finalist in the 'BAFTAs' of the literary world.

Forum Books, based at the Chapel, Market Place, is one of 62 bookshops across the country in the running to become the 2022 Independent Bookshop of the Year.

Shops must compete to win their region, before vying for the overall prize, to be given out at the British Book Awards on Monday, May 23. The overall Independent Bookshop of the Year winner will also compete to be crowned Retailer of the Year.

The award celebrates stores which have continued to support local communities with books, which have provided enjoyment, distraction and succour for the nation’s readers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Popular Forum Books, owned by Helen Stanton, expanded in the pandemic, opening The Accidental Bookshop in Alnwick, on Narrowgate, and The Bound in Whitley Bay at 82A Park View.

The Corbridge store has won North of England Regional Independent Bookshop of the Year three times.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller’s managing editor, said: “The received wisdom in the book trade when the pandemic first hit was that independent booksellers might be the most vulnerable. They have proved anything but as through close ties to their communities, indies have flourished for the last two years.

"This year ’s Independent Bookshop of the Year regional and country finalists reflect a broad diversity across the UK and Ireland with the thread of innovation running through, no matter if they are one of the UK’s most venerable indies or one of its newest.”

The 2022 regional and country winners will be announced on Wednesday, March 16.

The British Book Awards have been the leading awards for the book trade since 1990, celebrating the best books, bookshops and publishers.