The winner of Lancashire’s Book of the Year Award has attended a prestigious presentation ceremony today (Friday 6 July) at the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Darwin Building to receive the accolade.
Sue Wallman, writer of See How They Lie, visited Lancashire to formally receive her award and meet the young judges who chose the winning title. Sue was joined at the event by seven of the top 11 shortlisted authors.
The event was attended by Lancashire County Council Chairman, Anne Cheetham, who said: “At the event I saw for myself the love of reading that is shared by so many young people. This is an initiative that I fully support.”
Winning author, Sue Wallman, said, “I’m completely thrilled. It has been an incredible day.
“It is an honour for See How They Lie to be recognised like this, and what makes the award so special is that it’s been decided by students. It’s amazing to think representatives from 24 high schools across Lancashire debated my book and chose it.
“It has been an absolute pleasure to meet such enthusiastic young readers and I’d like to thank everyone involved in the award.”
Now in its 32nd year, it remains one of the few book awards where young people themselves are totally responsible for drawing up the shortlist and choose the overall winner.
The Lancashire Book of the Year was the first regional book award for children when it was originally organised in 1987. It was won that year by Philip Pullman, who went on to great success with the His Dark Materials trilogy.
The judges are pupils from school years 8 and 9 (aged between 13 and 14). 24 high schools from across the county took part, with each of Lancashire’s districts represented.
There were 63 books nominated on the list. The young judges came together on World Book Day in March to hear which books had made it to the shortlist. A panel of 32 pupils met up again in June to appraise each of the eleven shortlisted books and debate who should be the winner.
County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “Being introduced to books at a young age is important, as it can build up a love of reading that can stay with you for the rest of your life.
“It’s fantastic to see so many young people so actively involved in judging these awards, and clearly getting so much pleasure from books.
“I really hope that their love of reading continues.”
The Lancashire Book of the Year Award was sponsored by UCLan for the 17th year, who this year also hosted the Celebration Day, allowing more young people to attend.
This year’s judging schools were:
Unity College, Burnley
Colne Primet Academy, Colne, Pendle
Pendle Vale College, Nelson, Pendle
SS John Fisher and Thomas More Roman Catholic High School, Colne, Pendle
Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School, Lancaster
Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy, Lancaster
St Bede’s Catholic High School, Lytham St Annes, Fylde
Garstang Community Academy, Garstang, Wyre
Fleetwood High School, Fleetwood, Wyre
LSA Technology and Performing Arts College, Lytham St. Annes, Fylde
St Michael’s Church of England High School, Chorley
Parklands High School, Chorley
Preston Muslim Girls High School, Preston
Lathom High School, Skelmersdale, West Lancashire
Alder Grange School, Rawtenstall, Rossendale
Haslingden High School, Haslingden, Rossendale
Whitworth Community High School, Whitworth, Rossendale
Accrington Academy, Accrington, Hyndburn
Ribblesdale High School, Clitheroe, Ribble Valley
Penwortham Girls’ High School, Penwortham, South Ribble
Penwortham Priory Academy, Penwortham, South Ribble
Brownedge St Mary’s Catholic High School, Bamber Bridge, South Ribble
Carr Hill High School, Kirkham, Preston
Corpus Christi Catholic High School, Fulwood, Preston
Six of the other shortlisted authors Lisa Williamson, Sharon Gosling, Jeremy De Quidt, Tamsyn Murray, Penny Joelson and Hayley Barker were also present at the awards ceremony.
The shortlisted authors and books were:
Kerry Drewery – Cell 7
Lisa Williamson – All About Mia
Laura Eve – The Graces
Emily Barr – The One Memory of Flora Banks
Juno Dawson – Margot and Me
Sharon Gosling – Fir
Jeremy De Quidt – The Wrong Train
Tamsyn Murray – Instructions For A Second Hand Heart
Penny Joelson – I Have No Secrets
Sue Wallman – See How They Lie
Hayley Barker – Show Stopper
For information on Lancashire County Council’s Library and Information Service please visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/libraries.