Flip wins in Sheffield!

Smashing trip to South Yorkshire today, made all the more enjoyable by Flip winning the young adult section in the 2012 Sheffield Children’s Book Award. This is Flip‘s fourth prize and the biggest so far, with more than 200 schools and some 5,000 pupils reading the books and voting across six categories.

I was living in Sheffield way back in 1995 when I heard that my first novel for adults, Acts of Revision, had been accepted for publication so it was great, and somehow fitting, to return to the city all these years later to pick up an award for my first novel for teenagers.

I was especially pleased to win against strong competition from some leading names in teen/YA fiction, with Chris Priestley coming runner-up for Mister Creecher and Liz Kessler in third place with A Year Without Autumn. The other shortlisted titles were In the Bag, by Jim Carrington, Heart Burn, by Anne Cassidy, and Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick. Unfortunately my friend Tom Palmer’s novel, Scrum, missed out on the Quick Reads prize (won by Bali Rai, for The Gun).

The event was held at Sheffield City Hall, with the announcements and presentations taking place in the morning in front of hundreds of enthusiastic school students, teachers and librarians, followed by book-signing. In the afternoon, we adjourned to the city library’s theatre for a panel session in which nine of the authors from the Young Adult and Quick Reads categories talked about our work and took questions from the audience.

All in all, a terrific day, very well run by the book award team from Sheffield’s excellent Schools & Young People’s Library Service.

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