Branford Boase Award Winner

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No, this is not the Branford Boase winner, nor is it Howard Hannah. It is, of course, Ted Dewan, snapped at last night's TES Summer Party. The only other photograph I took was this one of the TES front page encased in a block of ice.

It was a luxury not to have to flit around with camera in hand, just chat with some of the other Michael's on Geraldine Brennan's reviewing team, as well as speaking with Elaine Williams and Tom Deveson who, observing that my beard was bushier than when we had last met (he was polite enough not to add whiter) was told that it was a physical manifestation of impending grandfatherdom.

One reviewer I missed was Jan Mark who had left before I arrived to attend the Branford Boase Award presentations. (My own plans to attend both events were scuppered by the late running of my train up from Sussex.)

The winner was How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff. The award was presented by Mal Peet. Jacqueline Wilson, Children�s Laureate, who sponsored the �1000 cheque accompanying the award said �I have a special affection for this prize since I was invited to be the first Author Judge in 2000. It can be such a struggle for new writers starting out that I am thrilled to be able to offer this support to a prize which can make a real difference to their prospects�.

Read the Press Release in full...

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff has won the Branford Boase Award. She was unable to attend the ceremony but she did have a message for us: �As a 48 year old first-time novelist, it's a wonderful honour and encouragement to be awarded the Branford Boase Award. I love the idea that How I Live Now could be the start of a new fifty year career!�

The prizegiving ceremony took place at Walker Books between 6-8 pm on Thursday 30th June. Graham Marks of Publishing News, who was a judge this year, talked about the high quality of the shortlist and Jacqueline Wilson, Children�s Laureate, sponsored the cheque for �1000 and said, �I have a special affection for this prize since I was invited to be the first Author Judge in 2000. It can be such a struggle for new writers starting out that I am thrilled to be able to offer this support to a prize which can make a real difference to their prospects�. In winning the prize, Meg Rosoff had faced stiff competition from fellow debut novelists. The other shortlisted titles were:

Unique by Alison Allen-Grey, edited by Kathy Webb (OUP)
Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce, edited by Sarah Dudman (Macmillan)
Dizzy by Cathy Cassidy, edited by Rebecca McNally (Puffin Books)
Zeus on the Loose by John Dougherty, edited by Sue Cooke (Young Corgi)
Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver, edited by Fiona Kennedy (Orion)
Last Train from Kummersdorf, by Leslie Wilson edited by Suzy Jenvey (Faber)


Chair of the judges, Julia Eccleshare said: �We were very excited by the books on offer. To find such good quality writing over such a wide age spread is very heartening. It shows that new writers are considering the particular needs of all readers.�

The annual Branford Boase Award celebrates the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards by a first-time novelist, and highlights the importance of the editor in nurturing new authors. The author may have published other books in another genre - for example, poetry or a picture book - but eligibility for the prize requires that this is her or his first children�s novel. In addition to drawing attention to fresh talent in the field of children's books and encouraging publishers to find and promote new writers, the Award sets out to alert readers of all ages to the work of an interesting newcomer. The contribution of the Editor in the writing process is also acknowledged and promoted in this Award.

The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of the outstanding children�s writer Henrietta Branford and the gifted editor, Wendy Boase, Editorial Director of Walker Books. They worked together on a number of books, a partnership they greatly enjoyed. They both died of cancer in 1999.

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on July 1, 2005 7:17 AM.

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