Lewis Hancox Wins the 2024 Bristol Teen Book Award for "Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure"
The Bristol Teen Book Award proudly announced Lewis Hancox as the deserving winner of the 6th annual Award for his exceptional graphic memoir, "Welcome to St. Hell: My Trans Teen Misadventure." Hancox's groundbreaking work has not only resonated with readers but has also exemplified the Award's commitment to celebrating diverse voices and addressing the complexities of teenage life.

The Bristol Teen Book Award (BTBA) is an annual event organized by a dedicated working group as part of the School Library Association West of England Branch. The award aims to celebrate and highlight excellent literature for teens with a clear focus on diversity. Since its inception, the BTBA has consistently recognized a diverse range of voices and styles, featuring books that present individual perspectives and experiences, including those that are often unheard or forgotten. The books on the BTBA shortlist for 2023, a testament to the Award's commitment to excellence in young adult literature, include:

• "This Summer’s Secrets" by Emily Barr
• "Crossing the Line" by Tia Fisher
• "The Haunting of Tyrese Walker" by JP Rose
• "Activist" by Louisa Reid
• "Steady for This" by Nathanael Lessore

These shortlisted authors, along with Winner Lewis Hancox, played an integral role in the award ceremony, attended by students from eight schools across Bristol. The event, held on February 7th at Orchard School in Filton, featured an exciting programme during which the shortlisted authors engaged with attendees through workshops and talks, offering valuable insights into their creative processes and experiences, and allowing students to connect with the creators behind the stories. Caleb Parkin, Bristol City Poet and compère for the Award Ceremony, skilfully guided proceedings, adding a touch of literary flair to the event.

Hancox's "Welcome to St. Hell," emerged as the winner, achieving the highest number of votes from students across Bristol, and embodying the award's mission to amplify diverse voices and stories that resonate with teenage experiences. "Welcome to St. Hell" is a gripping graphic memoir that delves into the challenges and triumphs of being a trans teen. Lewis' candid and artistic storytelling has elevated the narrative, providing readers with a unique and insightful perspective on the experiences of transgender youth. The graphic format adds a visually compelling layer to the storytelling, making the memoir both accessible and impactful.

Lewis Hancox, a multi-talented writer, illustrator, and filmmaker hailing from Northwest UK, is known for his online characters British Mum and Prinny Queen, garnering a committed following with his viral comedy videos. Beyond his entertaining digital presence, Hancox has co-created an ongoing film project about trans people titled "My Genderation." As a longtime fan of cartoons and comics, Lewis Hancox is proud to have created "Welcome to St. Hell," his first graphic memoir. In "Welcome to St. Hell," Hancox takes readers on a hilarious, heartbreaking, and healing journey. The book chronicles his path to overcome trauma, confusion, hurt, and dubious fashion choices, ultimately embracing the man he was meant to be.
The BTBA team would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all the talented authors whose contributions have enriched young adult literature. Their creativity and dedication inspire and empower readers, fostering a love for storytelling and literature.

We also thank our generous sponsors, Clifton College and Badminton School, and The School Library Association for their support. Their commitment to promoting literacy and recognizing outstanding literary works has played a crucial role in the success of the Bristol Teen Book Award. Additionally, a special acknowledgement goes to all the students, librarians, and teachers from schools across Bristol who actively participated in the open nomination and voting process. Their enthusiasm and engagement have been instrumental in making the BTBA a platform that celebrates the voices of young readers and contributes to the vibrant literary landscape.