Publisher’s outstanding contribution to Norfolk’s literary life recognised at book awards

East Anglian Book Awards: Peter Stibbons, of Poppyland Publishing, receives the award.Picture: Nick

East Anglian Book Awards: Peter Stibbons, of Poppyland Publishing, receives the award.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

North Norfolk publisher Peter Stibbons has received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the literary life of the region.

Mr Stibbons founded Poppyland Publishing, based in Cromer, which has released around 150 books, making him one of the most prolific local publishers in the country.

Most of the titles are about Norfolk, although Suffolk and Essex feature too, and he has built a considerable reputation for publishing well-researched books that inform as well as entertain.

He received this year's outstanding contribution award at the 10th East Anglian Book Awards (EABA), which was held at the Top of the Terrace, Norwich City FC on Friday.

The award is given to stalwarts of regional publishing and Mr Stibbons said: 'It is a considerable honour to receive this award. At the ceremony I had the chance to thank my wife Brenda, who has supported me throughout, and to remember others like the late Peter Brooks and Bruce Robinson of Sheringham, who wrote several of the titles.

'It all started from north Norfolk titles and expanded to greater East Anglia; with ourselves and Salt Publishing in Cromer we're pleased to make our marks in our respective areas of publishing.'

The citation for the award stated that Mr Stibbons was 'an East Anglian publisher par excellence'.

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It continues: 'A student at the Paston School, North Walsham, and a graduate of the University of London, his career has been in teaching and educational television and software.

'He returned to Norfolk as education officer for Anglia Television, becoming Director of Development and then Managing Director of Anglia Multimedia Ltd.

'Peter developed a range of database products for use in schools, products for the National Maritime Museum, the State Russian Museum, was behind the multimedia aspect of the Everyman Millennium Library project and led developments in educational multimedia.

'From his very first book in 1976 to today, Peter has championed dozens of local authors and also embraced new media and technologies to bring history and heritage to an ever-widening readership.'

Poppyland Publishing's latest book, A Cromer Miscellany draws together the photographic work of father and son, Philip and Adrian Vicary.