Winners take centre stage at Leeds Book Awards

Caption: Leeds Book Awards winners Annabel Pitcher and Holly Smale (centre) along with fellow shortlisted authors.

Full list from from left to right: Paula Rawsthorne, Gillian Cross, Chelsey Flood, Annabel Pitcher, Holly Smale, Sarah Mussi, Alison Rattle and Lucy Christopher.

The favourite page turners of Leeds school children have been recognised in two special awards ceremonies held in the city this month.

As part of the 2014 Leeds Book Awards, over 700 children from 50 primary schools and 18 high schools packed into Pudsey Civic Hall and Leeds Civic Hall in two events to celebrate their favourite authors and books of the last year in the 9-11, 11-14 and 14-16 age categories. In total, 60 primary schools and 20 high schools from across the city participated in the awards, which saw young people avidly reading and discussing each shortlisted book before choosing their own winner in each respective category.

With many of the shortlisted authors in attendance, tension was high as the golden envelopes containing the names of the winners were opened on the stage. Triumphing in the 9-11 category was Rob Lloyd Jones for ‘Wildboy’, Holly Smale in the 11-14 category for ‘Geek Girl’, while Annabel Pitcher came out on top in the 14-16 category with ‘Ketchup Clouds’.

With the winners names now revealed, there was also the chance after the ceremony for children to meet the authors and have their favourite book signed.

Already plans are being put in place for the 2015 Leeds Book Awards, and children have been invited to start nominating books for next year’s categories.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

“The Leeds Book Awards is a really fantastic competition, and I am delighted to say that this year’s ceremonies at Pudsey Civic Hall and Leeds Civic Hall were a great success.

“The passion and enthusiasm shown by our young people to take part, debate and then vote for their favourite book was again really tremendous, and what is brilliant about this particular awards ceremony is that they also have the chance to meet and have a chat with many of the authors whose work was shortlisted.

“We would like to give a big thank you to the authors who were able to attend on the day, and I am delighted to say that nominations are already open for next year’s awards, so please let us know if you think a book should be considered.”

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk