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Alice Oseman and Heartstopper win at Books Are My Bag Readers Awards

“It’s been such an amazing year for Heartstopper, so this award really, really means a lot.”

By Emily Maskell

Alice Oseman, Heartstopper creator
Alice Oseman and Heartstopper have won big at the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2022 (Image: Netflix)

Alice Oseman has won Readers’ Choice Award and Breakthrough Author Award with their LGBTQ+ graphic novel Heartstopper at the annual Books Are My Bag Readers Awards 2022.

The Books Are My Bag Readers Award nominations are curated by a panel of booksellers and voted on by the public, the winners of which were announced on Tuesday (8 November).

Hearstopper took home the Readers’ Choice Award, a category voted on entirely by book lovers.

“Thank you so much everyone for voting for Heartstopper as the Readers’ Choice,” Oseman said in their pre-recorded acceptance speech.

“Thank you to everyone who’s been involved in the journey of Heartstopper over the years,” the author who uses she/they pronouns continued. “It’s been such an amazing year for Heartstopper, so this award really, really means a lot.”

Originally a web comic and then published in print by Hachette Children’s Group, Heartstopper has sold over one million copies and is the beloved source material of the Netflix adaptation which has over 52.1 million views to date, the sophomore season is currently in production.

The novel chronicles the trials and tribulations of Charlie and Nick (played by Joe Locke and Kit Connor, respectively) as they go from best friends to boyfriends surrounded by the drama of high school.

Season two is set to tackle some of the more challenging themes of the graphic novels, including Charlie’s eating disorder.

On that storyline, speaking to GQ in their Men of the Year issue, Locke recently revealed: “I feel like everyone sees weaknesses and problems in their own bodies. [For me], they’ve been heightened in the last year because more people are seeing my face and seeing the things that I hate about myself.”

Kit teases his character’s story will be similar to the comics but ever so slightly different and that sticking faithfully to the source material is “an amazing pressure to have”.

As well as the Readers’ Choice Award, Oseman was celebrated with their very much deserved Breakthrough Author Award win.

The 28-year-old author and screenwriter’s wins were among what the Books Are My Bag’s organisers called an “exceptionally strong year for LGBTQ+ authors and books”.

Oseman is in good company, Shon Faye’s The Transgender Issue, a multi-layered exploration of what it means to be transgender in modern Britain, won the Non-Fiction award.

Juno Dawson’s Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, which follows a top-secret government department of witches, won the Fiction award. 

Erik J. Brown’s debut All That’s Left in the World, a queer post-apocalyptic love story thriller, picked up the YA Fiction award.

Oseman’s graphic novel is also currently nominated for the British Book Awards and shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year.

Heartstopper season two is currently filming and is expected to be released in 2023.