Friday, May 18, 2007

Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children's Books Shortlist

The nine shortlisted titles in this year’s Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books and a brand new category of best Gaelic book the year are announced today (Friday, May 18).
Such was the success of the inaugural Royal Mail awards programme in 2006, this year’s winning authors will benefit from a trebling of the prize money handed out last year, making this the biggest prize awarded for children’s writing in the UK.
The awards are split into four categories – Early Years, Younger Readers, Older Readers, Gaelic – and the winning author of each category will receive £3,000, thanks to increased financial support from Royal Mail, the Scottish Arts Council and the Arts & Business Invest programme. Runners-up in each category will receive £500 each, a significant increase on last year’s £200 prizes.

There are three shortlisted books in each of the three age-group categories, with a fourth Gaelic category winner:

Early Years (0 - 7 years)
Augustus And His Smile by Catherine Rayner (Little Tiger Press)
Dan and Diesel by Charlotte Hudson and Lindsey Gardiner (Red Fox)
Katie’s Moose by James Robertson and Matthew Fitt, illustrated by Karen Sutherland (Itchycoo)

Younger readers (8 - 12 years)
Chill by Alex Nye (Floris Books)
The Flight of the Silver Turtle by John Fardell (Faber & Faber)
The Highwayman’s Footsteps by Nicola Morgan (Walker Books)

Older readers (13 - 16 years)
The Medici Seal by Theresa Breslin (Doubleday)
Nemesis: Into the Shadows by Catherine MacPhail (Bloomsbury)
Scarlett by Cathy Cassidy (Puffin)

Gaelic Children’s Book of the Year (Winner)
Uspaig agus S-S by Marie C NicAmhlaigh (Marie Macauley), illustrated by Kathleen NicAonghais (Kathleen MacInnes), published by Leabhraichean Beaga.

The shortlisted books will be read by young people in reading groups at schools, libraries and bookshops across Scotland during the next few months, with children voting for their favourite book thereafter and the winners announced at an awards ceremony on Thursday, November 22.
A book review competition for children will run concurrently, with prizes awarded to the best reviews (in either Gaelic or English) of the shortlisted titles or the Gaelic category winner. Review competition winners will be recognised at the awards ceremony in November and will win book tokens for themselves as well as an author visit for their school or library.

The Royal Mail Awards for Scottish Children’s Books are managed by BRAW (Books Reading And Writing), part of Scottish Book Trust, in partnership with the Scottish Arts Council and are supported by the Times Educational Supplement Scotland. The awards are an evolution of the Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book of the Year.

Gavin Wallace, Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, said: "The Royal Mail Awards are unique prizes which celebrate and promote the outstandingly high calibre of writing for children of all ages in Scotland, and obviously we’re delighted with the expansion and wider inclusiveness introduced this year. And the ownership of the prizes by children across Scotland is a glorious thing - we have wonderful young readers as well as wonderful authors!"

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