Child-focused bookseller shortlisted for prize

Katie Clapham (left) with her mum Carolyn outside Storytellers.

Katie Clapham (left) with her mum Carolyn outside Storytellers.

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A YOUNG shop owner on a mission to share her passion for books with Fylde coast children is on the shortlist for a top award.

Katie Clapham, 26, is now a familiar face in schools across the area after taking popular authors to meet excited schoolchildren and running dozens of sessions to encourage youngsters to get reading.

And now – less than 18 months after she opened St Annes store Storytellers,Inc. with her mum, Carolyn – both the shop and Katie have found themselves in line for top awards.

The bookshop on the Crescent has been nominated in the Children’s Independent Bookseller category at the BA Industry awards – which recognise the UK’s best shops – while Katie is in line for Young Bookseller of the Year,

The former Lytham St Annes High School pupil said: “It’s a real honour to be shortlisted.

“In the Children’s Independent Booksellers category we’re up against some shops we know are high-profile and fantastic so it’s lovely for us to be nominated alongside them.

“As a relatively new and small independent this is a great opportunity to get our name recognised within the industry and it could open some doors for us in the future when it comes to pitching for author events for the area.”

As well as visiting local schools, Katie also runs activities for youngsters in the shop itself, including a variety of book clubs, story sessions and competitions.

She added: “The individual nomination for me as the Young Bookseller of Year is a bonus. This is in recognition of the book clubs, storytimes and schools schemes I run and I’m hoping to use it to raise the profile of our work with schools in the Fylde.

“Only one of the other nominees for Young Bookseller is the owner of the business like me. Whatever happens on the night it’s a real privilege to be nominated and I can’t wait for the glitzy awards ceremony in Mayfair.”