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Our Background

The TSBA aims to celebrate quality writing in both new and older fiction on a different theme each year. The theme for 2024 is Elemental. The TSBA shortlist is aimed at students in Year 7+; the Trinity Plus shortlist features books on the same theme for students in Year 9+. A committee of TSBA librarians choose the theme and shortlists annually but students in participating schools determine the winners. It was originally developed by and for librarians in the Trinity Group of schools (a loose association of independent schools in London and the South East), but any interested secondary school may take part. Students read the shortlisted books during the Autumn and Spring terms and cast their votes early in the new year to determine the winner. Student competitions for the best book reviews and best creative response run alongside the main book awards; these can be in response to books on either shortlist and are judged by the TSBA Committee.

How to take part

If you wish to participate in the Award, simply fill in this form. Your school will be invoiced in the Autumn term. Once payment is received, you will be issued a password to access the Members only resources. Please contact Tamsin Farthing our Secretary on if you have any further queries about joining.

How the Award works

Every year, the two shortlists of around six to eight books are chosen in time for the start of the Autumn term. Students in participating schools will be asked to vote for their favourite book by February half-term; participating schools will be sent instructions in advance on how to submit votes. We invite the shortlisted authors to attend the Awards Ceremony, and have been lucky so far, with at least three authors attending in each of the previous years.

In addition to the award itself, we run a student competition open to all participating schools. Each school may submit a total of four of their best entries across two categories: Review (this can take any form, print or online) and Creative Response. From these, overall student prizes will be awarded, for the best entry and runner(s)-up in each category. Student competition entries may be in response to any books on either shortlist.

The Creative Response competition 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! An exhibition of the best responses 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, usually in late March/early April. 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. The Ceremony is a celebration of all the shortlisted books and students’ responses to them. There is a panel of the shortlisted authors who are able to attend. The winners of the student competitions are announced, then the winning books for that year’s TSBA and Trinity Plus Award are finally revealed.

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