I’m really pleased to be able to tell you that THE HUNTING GROUND has won the Hillingdon Book of the Year 2013. A whole host of schools from the area took part, and it was an award with a difference because the schools had to ‘perform’ their favourite novel live onstage.
According to the Uxbridge Gazzette The Hunting Ground was a runaway winner, and the performances were amazing, and included all sorts of dripping spiders and ghostly cobwebs. I was so disappointed to miss out on attending this award. I only heard about it after I had another school firmly booked (It was held on World School Book Day, unfortunately!) and I couldn’t change that booking. How annoying! But lovely to win! And I’d like to extend an enormous word of thanks to the students and teachers who were involved in organizing this .. and voting for me! I’m very proud to win, too, because the competition was so stiff. It included my friend Sarwat Chadda’s book Ash Mistry and The Savage Fortress (which came second) and Goblins by Philip Reeve. The other runners-up were Call Me Drog by Sue Cowing, Twelve Minutes To Midnight by Christopher Edge, and The Prince Who Walked With Lions by Elizabeth Laird.
The Hunting Ground is also on the shortlist for the wonderful Calderdale Award 2013. I’ve no idea of the other shortlisted titles yet, but I know the award will be held on July 3rd 2013, and this time – ha! – I’ll definitely be attending. It’s particularly nice to be nominated for this one because I won the same award for my other ghost novel BREATHE in 2006/7. The readers in this part of the world obviously have a touch of the dead in their veins ...