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Favourite Authors In 2007 Highland Book Awards

Issued: 23 Jan 2007

Pupils To Vote For Favourite Authors In 2007 Highland Book Awards
Authors Simon Puttock and Keith Gray joined 160 primary and secondary pupils from 16 Highland schools today (Tuesday 23 January) for The Big Launch event in Strathpeffer which kick starts the 2007 Highland Children's Book Awards.

Over the coming months pupils of all ages will be given a list of books to read in a number of different categories and they then will be asked to vote for their favourite authors.

Young Highland readers voted for Simon Puttock's 'Little Lost Cowboy' as their favourite picture book of 2006 in the first year of the Awards so he was delighted to come to Strathpeffer Pavillion to promote the 2007 Awards and meet readers of his books. Simon, who travelled the world extensively as a young child, grew up deciding he wanted to be a writer and is keen to pass on tips to any other young budding authors.

Keith Gray's book Creepers was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award in 1996 when he was just 24 years old. Following this success he has gone on to write more exciting books enjoyed by young readers throughout the world including Warehouse (2002), Malarkey (2003) and The Fearful (2005)

Both authors are based in Edinburgh and during the Big Launch event pupils had the chance to meet them and to speak to them both about their writing careers and find out which books they enjoyed reading when they were young. Both were presented with gifts sponsored by Anta Pottery, Fearn.

As well as meeting the authors, the pupils had the chance to take part in special storytelling sessions before the collection of books to be voted on was unvieled. On the list are 57 books in the Picture Book category; 41 books in the 8+ category and 61 books in the 12+ category.

Over the next few months pupils will be able to post reviews of the books they read from the list on the Highland Schools virtual library website www.highlandsvirtualib.org.uk/hba. In April a short-list will be drawn up and voting will take place to find the overall winners in the picture book, 8+ and 12+ categories. The results will be announced at an award ceremony held at the end of the summer term.

Books have been donated by 16 different children's publishers.

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Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme