Marcus Sedgwick is the winner of the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2007 for his gothic novel My Swordhand is Singing, published by Orion.
The prize was established by Booktrust in 2003 to recognise and celebrate contemporary fiction written for teenagers.
My Swordhand is Singing is a sinister tale of a woodcutter and his son who fight the legendary undead in the wintry isolated forests of seventeenth-century Romania. The novel is a thrilling and menacing story which draws heavily on Sedgwick’s extensive research of the vampire legend in Eastern Europe.
Sedgwick, whose novels have been shortlisted for a variety of awards including the Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Blue Peter Book Award, was present at the ceremony held in the Pearson Building to collect his trophy and cheque for £2,500.
Anthony McGowan, judge and winner of Booktrust Teenage Prize 2006:
"The 2007 Booktrust Prize turned up some stunning novels. But one novel stood out for its utterly gripping narrative, its brilliantly created atmosphere of terror and suspense, and the subtle poetry of its language. Marcus Sedgwick’s My Swordhand is Singing hooks the reader from the opening sentence, and, like the Gypsy music at its core, resonates still in the imagination long after the last note is sounded."
Viv Bird, Director of Booktrust: "Choosing this year’s winner from such a superb shortlist was extremely daunting for all our judges. The books were all of extraordinary calibre: compelling, beautifully written and reflecting a wide variety of themes. We are delighted that the Booktrust Teenage Prize is attracting such remarkable authors and congratulate Marcus wholeheartedly on his outstanding book."
The shortlisted books for the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2007 are:
Theresa Breslin The Medici Seal Doubleday
Kate Cann Leaving Poppy Scholastic
Mal Peet The Penalty Walker Books
Philip Reeve Here Lies Arthur Scholastic
Meg Rosoff Just in Case Penguin
Marcus Sedgwick My Swordhand is Singing Orion
The judges for the Booktrust Teenage Prize 2007 are:
Angela Wilkinson, librarian (Chair)
Tom Gatti, Associate Editor, The Times Books
Anthony McGowan, author
Isabelle Ellis-Cockcroft, school student
Sam Audet, young judge short story competition winner
Katharine Flach, young judge short story competition winner
Matthew Sawyer, young judge short story competition winner
Francesca Grapes, young judge short story competition winner
Zita Abila, young judge short story competition winner