And proving that she was probably right about me, this is what I was wearing when I received the award…
Idiot Dressed As Mr Messy
Idiot Dressed as Mr Messy with the Crystal Kite Award!!!
I know, I know but it was fancy dress?! ( Gold star if you know who I was???)
Huge congratulations to the other shortlisted authors, Patrice Lawrence, Eugene Lambert, Ally Sherrick, Peter Bunzl and Sue Wallman – I read and loved all your books. If it was a Strictly vote I’d have run up quite a phone bill and possibly done myself out of a SHINY THING.
Sometimes, when you start on a journey, there are certain dreams that seem ridiculously beyond your reach but you dream them anyway because they just keep you going. And sometimes, ridiculously, no matter how far beyond your reach they seem, those dreams can come true.
The Society of Children’s Book writers and Illustrators is an organisation I’ve belonged to for years. Through SCBWI workshops and critique groups I’ve learned my craft, and as a volunteer I’ve grown a hugely supportive network of friends and colleagues.
SCBWI members are a mix of published and unpublished writers all on a journey to produce the best work they can and I think that shows in the standard of entries for the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. It’s a peer-given award to traditionally published writers and illustrators , recognising great books from 15 regions around the world.
Here are the shortlisted titles for the UK and Ireland in 2017 – I’ve read and loved them all – anyone of them would be a worthy winner. In fact, if you’ve gaps in your To Be Read pile, take them as recommendations.
Patrice Lawrence – Orange Boy
A gritty urban thriller with a powerful family drama at its heart – Winner of the Waterstones Prize for Older Children, Shortlisted for The Costa Prize.
Peter Bunzle – Cogheart
A steampunk tale of ambition, pursuit and revenge – The Guardian. Shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and the Branford Boase Award.
‘A thrilling YA sci-fi adventure reminiscent of Hunger Games and Star Wars … a fantastic page-turner with great characters in Kyle and Sky’ Booktrust
A gutsy adventure-packed tale of the Guy Fawkes story told from 12 year old Tom’s point of view as he struggles to save his father in a world that’s against him.
In intense psychological thriller selected for the Zoella book Club and a really brilliant page turner.
And in case there is still space on your bookshelf, here are some previous winners…
Teri Terry – Mind Games
A complex and futuristic thriller that, even at a hefty 433 pages, will leave you wanting more…another stunning example of Teri Terry doing what she does best (The School Librarian)
Teri has won so many awards I can’t even list them all.
Claire Furniss – The Year of The Rat
Beautifully written and emotionally charged debut about love, loss and families. Would appeal to fans of Annabel Pitcher. (The Bookseller)
Shortlisted for the Branford Boase, Longlisted for the Cilip Carnegie Medal
And the 2017 winner…
Well… More of Me by Kathryn Evans
Dreams really can come true if you just don’t give up.
I feel like I should have a little birthday tea. One year ago today, my first book was born. After more than 15 years of trying, I became an actual, real life published author. My debut YA novel More of Me was released by Usborne to U.K. readers.
The birth was celebrated by many of my amazing friends. The tribute below was lead by Candy Gourlay and Amanda Lillywhite, who encouraged enormous numbers of people to do this to their faces and post it all over facebook and twitter.
I was so moved by this, it’s amazing, don’t you think? And then very many of them turned out for my launch parties – the first hosted by Daunt Books, the second, by Waterstones. You can see loads of pictures here but this is one of my favourites, because it sums up all the support, kindness and squidging I’ve had along the way:
I think it’s traditional to talk about the highs and lows of having a first bookbaby- and at some point I will be doing a post on that for SCBWI’s Words and Pictures – I’ll link to it when it comes out. But not here. Here, in the spirit of new motherhood, I’m going to celebrate my book’s first birthday by inviting a few pregnant friends over…I think I may be taking this metaphor a bit too far…Basically, I’m going to celebrate my book’s birthday with the
Joy of New Books!
During this last year, I teamed up with four other SCBWI debut authors, my fellow Lost and Founders, and they all have new books out this year. I’ve read one of them, Olivia Levez, The Circus, and loved it. Sue Wallman’s See How They Lie, Patrice Lawrence’s Indigo Donut and Eugene Lambert’s Into The No Zone, I couldn’t quite get my hands on yet but I will! I will! I’m so happy for them, they give me hope! I’m still writing my book 2 ( slacker).
I also want to mention Peter Bunzl’s Cogheart – this book was Usborne’s lead debut in 2016 and made a huge and deserved splash. It’s middle grade with a strong story, wonderful characters and a gorgeous steampunk feel to it. If you haven’t read it, do – I can’t wait for the follow up, MoonLocket, out in May..need to get working on my dress ups for that event…
Fellow Slushpiler Teri Terry has a new series launching in May this year, Contagion – I’ve not read it yet but she is consistently good, I loved Book of Lies released this year and I can’t wait for this creepy looking series!
I am also desperate to read Candy Gourlay’s new book but I don’t know when that’s going to happen – come on Candy, you have readers waiting!! ( I keep nagging int he hope she’ll give me a sneaky peak…sigh…)
I’ve just realised I could go on forever with this list…especially as I want to give a heads up to some brilliant SCBWI authors who have recently been signed to an agent or publishing house and I know are going to produce amazing books: Em Lynas, Sheila Averbach and Lucy Van Smit get on with it gang, I await new treats!
There are so many more, it’s going to be another exciting year for books and hoorah for that. Now it’s nearly time for cake, but first I must say:
Heaps if you were involved in More of Me winning, being nominated for, or long listed or shortlisted for an award. I am beyond grateful. And a bit stunned to be honest.
A ton if you read and reviewed More of Me, or just read and loved it or read and didn’t like it but didn’t slay me in a review – or if you did slay me in a review you did it for the betterment of book kind.
A gazillion times if you were involved in anyway in spreading More of Me’s wings worldwide, I love seeing all the foreign editions and hearing from readers all over the world.
Mahoosively if you’re a school or library that’s invited me to talk to your children.
Endlessly for encouraging, handholding and being generally fabulous.
How to Make the Most of A Book Tour Stop by Kathryn Evans
Liverpool: home of The Beatles; city of friendliness and unity and latest tour stop for the Lost and Founders! And my goodness did we pack a lot in.
I met up with the rest of the team, and after surviving a road crossing that might give me nightmares for years, we celebrated Orangeboy author Patrice Lawrence’s amazing Costa shortlisting before heading out to a lovely event at Write Blend, a gorgeous independent book and coffee shop run by the hugely energetic and charismatic team of Bob Stone and Sally-Anne Tapia-Bowes. The audience were warm, friendly and interested and there was a teen identical twin in the audience which made Sign of Oneauthor ( and identical twin) Eugene Lambert, very happy!
After the event we had a lovely catch up over a late dinner and more celebrating – well, there was Sue Wallman’s Zoella selection for Lying about Last Summerto toast, and we’d never raised a glass to Olivia Levez’ starred Kirkus review for The Island, or the Carnegie nominations and EdBookFest prize for More of Me …we had a lot of celebrating to catch up on!
The following day we had two school events organised by Sally-Anne and Bob. First stop, the amazing Alsop High School – boy the energy of those 300 year 8’s! The interactive element of my creativity talk was very enthusiastically engaged in…luckily Sue and Olivia were happy to help with the tidying up afterwards.
We had time to chat with some of the children as we signed books afterwards and they were great. Also, there was cake, Sally-Anne knows the way to an author’s heart is through a buttercream filling…yum.
In the afternoon we headed to Merchant Taylors’ Girl’s School for a literary lunch with some of their Year Eleven’s. It was such a special session – Year Eleven’s are so often caught up in pre-exam work that they miss out on author visits, and these girls were so interesting and interested, I’d have loved a bit more time to chat with them all.
Next we had a panel discussion with Years Eight and Nine. They were utterly delightful and we had plenty of time afterwards to sign the books they were very keen to buy. Olivia and I felt a bit like rockstars as they pressed forward with books for signing – it was a wonderful way to round off our Liverpool tour stop.
Sometimes I have to pinch myself it’s not all a dream.
I think we had a room full of writers because lots of the questions were geared to how we all broke through and got published – we answered with our usual honesty so I hope people gained knowledge and inspiration. They certainly gained Prosecco and mince pies thanks to Olivia’s wonderful family!
And of course- we picked our #LostandFound giveaway winner! You didn’t think I’d forgotten did you?
For extra chances to win – for every friend you refer, you get an extra chance to win – just send us your name again , with your answer and the name of the person you referred – when we pick up their name, you’ll get to go in the draw again! As many times as you like!
We will put all the entries into a hat ( literally) and make a random draw. the name of the winner will be revealed on 10th November just before our Waterstones Guildford Tour Stop. If you’re there and you’re the winner , we can hand it over there and then!