A group of literary enthusiasts from Clifton College joined schools across the county at Bristol Central Library yesterday to celebrate an exciting new book award aimed at pupils in Year 9 and above.
The Bristol Teen Book Award is a prize that celebrates diversity and draws attention to young adult novels featuring characters whose voices are not always heard in mainstream fiction. Our Clifton shadowing group have been reading the fantastic books on the shortlist over the past few months and have each cast their vote for their favourite book.
Five of the six authors whose novels had been shortlisted were able to attend the event and students took part in a series of author workshops. These included creative activities and writing competitions linked to the books, including mood board making and hook-a-duck!
The day ended with a panel discussion led by Sharmaine Lovegrove, the Publisher of Dialogue Books, alongside authors Bali Rai, Penny Joelson, Emily Critchley, Irfan Master and Fox Benwell. They answered a range of insightful and entertaining questions from students in the audience about literary influences, the need for change and diversity in publishing and why you should usually steer clear of celebrity biographies.
One audience member also quizzed the authors about what their Patronus would be. Unsurprisingly, Fox Benwell revealed that her Patronus would be a fox! The afternoon drew to a close with the announcement of the winner of the Bristol Teen Book Award 2019. Congratulations to Penny Joelson who saw off tough competition to win the prize for I Have No Secrets, a fast-paced thriller told from the point of view of a 14-year-old girl with severe cerebral palsy.
Thank you to Roz Keir, librarian at Bristol Cathedral Choir School, and to Polly Ho-Yen, author and Reading Engagement Officer at Bristol Libraries, for setting up the award and for organising such a fun and engaging afternoon to celebrate books and reading. Clifton College are delighted to be one of the sponsors of this exciting new award and our students are looking forward to reading the 2019/20 shortlist already!