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31st July 2019, New Delhi: The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize celebrated its fifth edition with its new jury announcement at a beautiful literary gathering hosted at The Park, New Delhi by Priti Paul and Namita Gokhale.

Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize’s new jury comprises of Shobhaa De prominent Author, Indian columnist and novelist, Shashi Tharoor, well known Indian politician, writer and Member of Parliament, Feroze Gujral renowned Indian philanthropist, art patron, businesswoman, model and columnist besides Priti Paul Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group and the creative force behind Oxford Bookstores and Namita Gokhale author, publisher & literary historian.

The jury members are all pre-eminent in their particular fields and share a love and commitment to books and reading. The varied interests of these eminent jurors will help create a rich and diverse perspective for the selection.

Instituted in March 2015 by Oxford Bookstore, the Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize year after year has gained traction as the most prestigious award in the book cover design industry. It is a first of its kind award for brilliance in book design, an attempt by the iconic bookstore to recognize and encourage the extraordinary work of illustrators, designers and publishers across India. The prize appreciates the importance of the balance of graphics and narrative, particularly in our increasingly visual age, and believes that a book cover interprets and decodes the ensuing text in crucial ways that contribute to its ultimate success.

Under the guidance of Ms. Priti Paul, Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group, Oxford Bookstores has been pushing all boundaries to encourage the publishing industry and celebrate the business of books. Standout cover design is an integral part of the success of a book, designers and illustrators play a vital role in helping a book become emblematic and create recall.

The shortlisted designers will be announced at the Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival 2020 and an exhibition of the book covers will be displayed at Oxford Bookstore, Connaught Place. The prize will be announced at the Jaipur Book Mark 2020, of Jaipur Literature Festival. The winning entry will be awarded with a prize amount along with a trophy.

Covers of titles by designers of Indian origin and published between April 2018 and March 2019 are invited to apply for the fifth Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize. Entries are welcome from the 1st August 2019.

In its first year, the prize was given to designer, Bena Sareen for the book, Talking of Justice by late author, Leila Seth, published by Aleph followed by designer for the second year Pinaki De was declared winner for book Kalkatta authored by Kunal Basu, published by Picador India. The third Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize was awarded to Maithili Doshi Aphale for the book Himalaya authored by Ruskin Bond, Namita Gokhale, published by Speaking Tiger. The fourth Oxford Bookstore Book Cover was awarded to Bonita Vaz Shimray for the book Remnants of a Separation by Aanchal Malhotra published by Harper Collins.

To nominate your entry, please fill the nomination form here.

Request you to share all the required details mentioned in the form. The entries are open till 14 September 2019. Please mark a copy of your filled nomination form to neetasreedharan@apeejaygroup.com and oxfordeventsdelhi@apeejaygroup.com

Please be in touch with Neeta Sreedharan / Sandeep Bhati  at 9990996123 / 9716204900 for any further information.

Words from our new jury

Shashi Tharoor
“Literally one of the oldest of clichés in the English language is to never judge a book by its cover. But the fact remains that a book is often plucked off a shelf or attracts attention in a bookstore because of its cover. The art of designing a cover to attract buyers and readers, while encapsulated the essential mood of the book, requires special skills. The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize is the first initiative to recognize those talents that make some of our best-designed and most eye-catching covers. Congratulations to Oxford Bookstore for this timely and effective way to thank those remarkably skilled artists who help ensure that even lesser-known authors are noticed!”

Shobhaa De
“Judge a book by its cover! Remember ... a great book with an unattractive cover design may lose countless readers, while a good book with a great cover, will jump out at you from overcrowded shelves. The power of a well-designed book cover should never be underestimated.”

Feroze Gujral
“Delighted to be finally allowed to judge a book by its cover!! Thank you Oxford Bookstores.


Established in 1919, Oxford Bookstore is the best equipped 'base-camp' for journeys of the mind offering its customers the widest range of outstanding titles and consistently courteous and informed service for close to a century. Today, with stores in major metros, India’s first of its kind tea boutique, Cha Bar, India’s only literary festival created by a bookstore, Apeejay Kolkata Literary Festival, Oxford Bookstore offers booklovers access to the very best in publishing enhanced by a variety of events which salute books, visual & performing arts and celebrate the word. Oxford Bookstore measures its success by the smiles on millions of happy customers that the brand has served over the last nearly 100 years. There are a few treats as sumptuous as a visit to Oxford Bookstore in India. Each time you walk into our iconic store in Kolkata where the brand started in 1919, its charm leaves you wanting for more. Our fleet of happy to help expert booksellers and informed hosts work day and night to bring to customers world class reading experience be it through our books or our fine teas and live by the brand’s motto - Much more than a bookstore—at every Bookstore.



Shobhaa De is an Author, Indian columnist and novelist. De is best known for her depiction of socialites and sex in her works of fiction, for which she has come to be known as the "Jackie Collins of India". She began a career in journalism in 1970, during the course of which she founded and edited three magazines—Stardust, Society, and Celebrity. Stardust magazine, published by Mumbai-based Magna Publishing Co. Ltd., was started by Nari Hira in 1971 and became popular under the editorship of Shobhaa De. In the 1980s, she contributed to the Sunday magazine section of The Times of India. At present, she is a freelance writer and columnist for several newspapers and magazines.

Shobhaa De runs four weekly columns in mainstream newspapers, including The Times of India and Asian Age. She has been the writer of several popular soaps on television, including India's second daily serial, Swabhimaan (first is Shanti). De writes Detour, a fortnightly column for The Week. She is the brand ambassador of Dehradun Literature Festival.

Shashi Tharoor is an Indian politician, writer and a former career international diplomat who is currently serving as Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha from Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, since 2009. He also serves as Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs and All India Professionals Congress. During the Congress-led UPA Government rule (2004-2014), Tharoor served as Minister of State for External Affairs (2009–2010) and Minister of Human Resource Development (2012–2014). Tharoor is an acclaimed writer, having authored 18 bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction since 1981, which are centred on India and its history, culture, film, politics, society, foreign policy, and more related themes. He is also the author of hundreds of columns and articles in publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, and The Times of India. He was a contributing editor for Newsweek International for two years. From 2010 to 2012, he wrote a column in The Asian Age, Deccan Chronicle and, for most of 2012, until his appointment as Minister, a column in Mail Today; he also writes an internationally syndicated monthly column for Project Syndicate. He also wrote regular columns for The Indian Express (1991–93 and 1996–2001), The Hindu (2001–2008), and The Times of India (2007–2009).

Feroze Gujral is an Indian philanthropist, art patron, businesswoman, model, columnist, and media personality. She started The Gujral Foundation in 2008 and Outset India in 2010, both dedicated to supporting arts and culture in India. Gujral began her career as a model at the age of 18. She has featured on the multiple covers including Elle and Vogue, and has endorsed luxury brands like She has anchored a television show called Tonight with Feroze. She has been a columnist for Indian Express[CN], Deccan Chronicle[CN] and Vogue (India), a pioneer of TEDx India and curator for TEDx Delhi, and also been a guest lecturer at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT). She is on the international board of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Serpentine Gallery in London, and the advisory board of IGNCA, New Delhi

Priti Paul is the Director, Apeejay Surrendra Group. Educated at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Architectural Association School of Architecture, UK, Royal Institute of British Architects, Priti Paul has been at the forefront of taking over the business of the century old Apeejay Surrendra Group since 1990. Since then, she has spearheaded the real estate division of the Group which included expanding the business of the Oxford Bookstore in India and abroad, launched India’s first gallery on new media art – Apeejay Media Gallery and set up the London Office of Apeejay Shipping Limit ted.
She is also the creative force behind the iconic Oxford Bookstore, the best equipped 'base-camp' for journeys of the mind established in 1919. She has made Oxford into India’s favourite bookstore, taking the brand to unprecedented heights and across India. She has also been at the forefront of education for children coming from economically weaker sections of the society which is manifested through the Apeejay Anand Children’s Library run for the benefit of street children.

Namita Gokhale is a writer, publisher and festival director. She has written over twelve books. She is a founder and co-director of the famed ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival and of Mountain Echoes, the annual Bhutan Literature Festival. Gokhale is committed to showcasing writing from across the Indian languages and to celebrating creativity across different platforms


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