Ways to Live Forever won the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize!Er … that’s it, really. Except I’m very pleased to finally be allowed to tell people about it, as I have been sworn to secrecy for longer than I care to remember. The Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize is specifically to promote authors who’ve had less than three books published. Bookshops often get dominated by big names, so it’s very easy for new books to get lost. It’s fantastic to have something which recognises this and gives dedicated space to new authors.
The ceremony was in the cocktail bar at the top of Waterstone’s Picadilly. I was rather looking forward to meeting Michael Rosen and the other shortlisted authors, but the place was packed. I did get to see two of my old tutors from my MA, though. And afterwards my lovely publishers took us out for dinner with a magician (which is why you want to write children’s books, for reference).
I hadn’t realised that winning a prize like this meant you got an actual prize. But you do. I got a Perspex book-shaped one with WATERSTONE’S CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE stamped across it (Tom Becker, who won it last year, apparently got one that looked like a rocket). But what exactly are you supposed to do with something like that? Putting it on your mantelpiece is so pretentious, putting it under your bed so … well … disrespectful.
It’s currently on my bedroom windowsill, where I can smile at it now and then, but it isn’t staring people in the face. Although one of these days, one of my housemates is going to let someone sleep in my bed, and then they’re going to get a surprise.