Flip am byth!

News has filtered through from south Wales that Flip is on the shortlist for the the 2012 Bay Book Award, the 14th prize for which the novel has been in contention.

The award, an annual event to encourage teenagers to read books they might not otherwise have come across, involves novels nominated and voted for by school students in the Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea area. The other contenders on this year’s shortlist are: A Beautiful Lie , by Irfan Master; Delirium, by Lauren Oliver; Half Brother, by Kenneth Oppel; and The Hunting Ground, by Cliff McNish.

I am grateful to two of the participating students at Glan Afan school, Port Talbot, for letting me know that Flip has been shortlisted and for saying such nice things about the novel. Here’s one message, from Amelia: “I really enjoyed Flip. I will definatly be voting for it. The plot was unique and nothing like i have read before. The ending was also very un-expected but enjoyable. I hope that you write more children books like Flip.”

And here’s the other message, from Sam: “I’ve recently been reading Flip in school for the Bay Book Award. I’d just like to say that the book is absolutely brilliant, I simply can’t put it down! The storyline is superb. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen next, something different happens! I haven’t quite finished the book yet but I’m almost done and so far I have loved reading Flip. Best of luck for the award, hope you win! You deserve it!”

Having been shortlisted for prizes across England and in Scotland, it’s pleasing to add Wales to the list – not least because I have very fond memories of my two and a half years living in Cardiff, when I was a sports writer on the South Wales Echo way back in the late 1980s.

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