Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Red House Children's Book Award ceremony 2012

18th Feb 2012

My ears are still ringing after a fantastic day at the RHCBA ceremony in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. It was a fabulous mix of authors, readers, librarians and people from the publishing world...a real celebration of books and stories. I sat next to children from North Wales, and there were others who had travelled from as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall for the day. My own children got to come along too and met some of their favourite authors...Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman, Patrick Ness, Morris Gleitzman and loads more...

Sky Hawk didn't win, but I was so chuffed to have been on the shortlist for the Red House Children's Book Award, the only children's book award voted for entirely by children. So it felt just fab all the same. 

Each shortlisted author was presented with a bound portfolio of drawings and comments from children from across the country. Here I am receiving mine. Children had written poems and drawn and painted some amazing osprey illustrations too. 

After lunch we joined 900 children with 900 party blowers in the Queen Festival Hall...!

Michael Morpurgo started on a serious note and gave an inspirational introduction about the importance of books and how stories enrich our lives. Michael won the 2011 Red House Children's Book of the Year Award with his wonderful story, Shadow

Children's comedian, James Campbell hosted the show and impressed us all with his halloumi cheese rap!
Here he is with Chris Wormell, author of Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice.  

Shortlisted authors for the Younger Children...Mick Inkpen, Kali Stileman and Chris Wormell. 
Chris Wormell won the category with his picture book, Scruffy Bear and the Six White Mice.

Shortlisted authors for the Younger Readers...Liz Pichon, Piers Ibbotson (Eva Ibbotson's son) and me! does look a bit like a round of blind date! Those bar stools were high!

I think I was agreeing with Michael Morpurgo, that writing a book is a bit like having a baby. Sky Hawk took 9 months to write!

Liz accepting her award for overall winner of Young Readers category for the quirky and funny Brilliant World of Tom Gates

Shortlisted authors for the Older Readers category...Morris Gleitzman, Annabel Pitcher, Jim Kay and Patrick Ness

James brought the ceremony to a close with 1800 feet stamping, 900 party blowers tooting and announced the winner as....Patrick Ness, winning overall with his beautiful book, A Monster Calls. 

A bit of a fuzzy shot of Patrick Ness accepting the overall award. 

After an utterly brilliant day, it was rounded up with a trip on the London Eye with my family. Sunset and streetlights...

5 Days later...

Back in London for a posh black tie do at the Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall for a Gala Dinner in celebration of children's books. 

The invitation from the directors of the Book People arrived in a rather beautiful message in a bottle...

I left my jeans and welly boots at home and put on a posh frock for the night. Shame about the zombie eyes!

 There were speeches from big names in the publishing world....Michael Morpurgo (who sang to us), Anthony Horowitz (who didn't sing). 

And just when the night couldn't get any better...the food was cooked by none other than Jamie Oliver...well, his 15 chefs did the cooking...but the food was AMAZING. 

Jamie Oliver taking about books...and how he sees the effects of books on his children, although he himself found reading difficult. 

Triple Chocolate Pud! Yum!


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