Sheffield author in the running for top award and £20,000 prize after being inspired to publish her novels by late mum

When Hannah Ellis was younger she thought that only a lucky few could be an author and she was not one of them but, inspired by her terminally ill mum, she published her books and has now been shortlisted for a prestigious award.

Tuesday, 24th September 2019, 1:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 11:51 am
Sheffield-born author Hannah Ellis. Her latest book, ‘The Bookshop of Hopes and Dreams’, has been shortlisted for this year’s UK Kindle Storyteller Award.
Sheffield-born author Hannah Ellis. Her latest book, ‘The Bookshop of Hopes and Dreams’, has been shortlisted for this year’s UK Kindle Storyteller Award.

Hannah, from Sheffield, has been announced as a shortlisted author for this year’s UK Kindle Storyteller Award.

With her book, ‘The Bookshop of Hopes and Dreams’, Hannah is now in the running for the literary award that celebrates independent publishing. If she wins, she will also receive a £20,000 cash prize.

Hannah, aged 37, said: “Being shortlisted for the Kindle Storyteller Award was completely unexpected. Having my writing recognised makes all the hours slogging away at the laptop worthwhile. Now I feel as though anything is possible. Finding out I was a finalist was a wonderful surprise.

Sheffield-born author Hannah Ellis

“I'd encourage any aspiring authors to keep writing and grab every opportunity you can to get your work out there. You never know what might happen.”

Hannah had the idea of writing a novel when she was in her twenties, but she did not think that writing was a career option that was available to her.

It was her terminally ill mum who inspired her to publish her work, and positive feedback she received from the public gave her the confidence she needed and realise she could be a full-time writer.

Hannah said: “Being an author always felt like one of those lovely dream jobs that only a few lucky people get to do.

Sheffield-born author Hannah Ellis writing

“My mum was diagnosed with cancer early in 2015 and told she may only have a few months to live.

“She'd been nagging me to publish my debut novel for a while and I'd been putting it off. Suddenly I had this fear that one day I'd publish it and she wouldn't be around to see it. That was my motivation to get on and do it.

“Mum sadly passed away in 2017. She saw me publish five books and was extremely proud. She used to take a copy of one of my books with her when she was having chemo and proudly tell the nurses that her daughter wrote it, then encourage them to buy a copy.

“The success only really came after she passed away but she was always predicting it so I feel as though she knows.”

Hannah, who now lives in Munich with her husband and two young sons, has written 13 books and plans on publishing two more this year.

As well as the £20,000 cash prize, if Hannah wins, will be awarded a dedicated marketing campaign, as well as have the opportunity to have her work translated into multiple languages and also made into an Amazon Studios production for Amazon Prime Video.

The winner of the Kindle Storyteller Award 2019 winner, to be announced at a ceremony on October 14.