Yay! I won an award!


Oh God, is he boasting about that award? You’d think he’d won the Nobel Prize.

No, not the Nobel Prize, but the Awesome Book Award, voted for by children in 46 schools across England’s southeast, and I couldn’t be happier that Time Travelling With A Hamster won.

Apart from anything else, it was a fun evening.  Each of the five nominees (me, Horatio Clare, M.G Leonard, Katherine Woodfine and Martyn Ford) were given seven minutes to address the packed hall.  It meant that each of us did the best bit from our usual presentations, and it worked brilliantly.  And Lauren Child (below), who presented the award, was mordantly hilarious about the hard work that is writing.

It’s easy to be cynical about book awards.  They’re often dismissed as either blunt marketing tools, or meaningless baubles to buff the egos of insecure writers, but here’s the thing: I don’t care.

A marketing tool, blunt or otherwise, is a means of selling books and if they are my books, then hurrah!  And as a confessed insecure writer, I’m happy for my ego to be buffed occasionally.

I don’t think, however, that the Awesome Book Award is either.  It’s one of a handful of awards that are voted for by the children.  There’s no obvious commercial benefit to the award’s hosts (Cranleigh School in Surrey).

Its aim is simply to foster a love of reading in young people, to encourage them to read widely, critically and enthusiastically – and who could complain about that?

Certainly not me, and I’d say that even if I hadn’t won!

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