Chae Strathie, Janis Mackay and Claire McFall have been named as the winners of the 2013 Scottish Children’s Book Awards, Scotland’s largest Children’s Book Prize which is voted for exclusively by children. T
The winners receive £3,000 each and were announced today during a special ceremony at Glasgow’s Mitchell Library, attended by 800 young people from all over Scotland.
A celebration of the best of Scottish writing and illustration for children, the Scottish Children’s Book Awards are judged in 3 age categories – Bookbug readers (3-7), Younger Readers (8-11) and Older Readers (12-16) – and are run by Scottish Book Trust in partnership with Creative Scotland.
Record numbers of children read the books on this year’s shortlist, with over 38,000 votes cast – an increase of 20% on last year. The shortlist is comprised of books published between 1st April 2012 and 31st March 2013 by authors or illustrators living and working in Scotland, and is chosen by a panel of booksellers, teachers, librarians and, most importantly, children. Children across Scotland are then invited to read the shortlist of three books in their age category and to vote for their favourite.
Fife-based best-selling author Chae Strathie won the Bookbug Readers category (3-7 years) for his picture book Jumblebum, which was illustrated by Ben Cort and published by Scholastic. Chae, who is currently a sub-editor on a Scottish newspaper, said:
“I’m beyond delighted to have won this fantastic award. It’s without doubt the highlight of my writing career so far. To even be in the same category as such fabulous writers as Debi Gliori and Julia Donaldson was exciting enough, so this is the bee’s knees.
Best of all the award was chosen by children from all over Scotland and from every kind of background. They’re the ones I write for, so to get the seal of approval from them means the world to me. I would say I’m as happy as Larry, but next to me right now Larry looks like the Reverend I.M. Jolly. I’m much happier than Larry!”
Award-winning Edinburgh-based children’s author Janis Mackay won the Younger Readers Category (8-11 Years) for The Accidental Time Traveller, published by Kelpies. Janis, a writer, storyteller and voice teacher, said:
“I am completely thrilled, and can’t quite believe it. It has been such a wonderful opportunity to be shortlisted for this award; suddenly my books are in the consciousness of hundreds of teachers and librarians – and pupils – and I have been invited to many schools and libraries and book festivals.
First winning the Kelpies prize and now this amazing prize – I feel chuffed, and have already written the sequel!”
Debut author Claire McFall, based in the Scottish Borders, won the Older Readers Category (12-16 Years) for Ferryman (published by Templar). Claire’s current job as an English Teacher means that she has been on the other side of the awards in previous years, encouraging her pupils to vote and even attending the winner’s ceremony with her class several years ago. Commenting on her win, she said:
“To be honest, I was beyond delighted simply to be shortlisted for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, so to win is an incredible surprise. What makes me particularly ecstatic is that the awards are voted for by readers, which means that young people across Scotland enjoyed “Ferryman”. The competition was high, so to come out top is an honour. It’s not really a word, but I feel it’s the only appropriate expression to describe how I feel: awesomeness!”