Strictly embargoed until 19.30 Thursday 5th July 2012 DEBUT AUTHOR AND HORRID HENRY EDITOR WIN AWARD FOR THEIR MANTELPIECE BRANFORD BOASE AWARD 2012: WINNERS ANNOUNCED My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher, edited by Fiona Kennedy and published by Orion Children’s Books has won the 2012 Branford Boase Award, given annually to the author and editor of the most outstanding debut novel for children. My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is the story of ten-year-old Jamie Matthews. Five years ago his sister's twin, Rose, was blown up by a terrorist bomb and Jamie, his dad and teenage sister Jasmine have moved to the Lake District for a 'Fresh New Start'. In fact, things have got even worse for the family. It was published to much acclaim and made the shortlists of a number of other major children’s book awards including the CILIP Carnegie Medal, the Red House Children’s Book Award and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Chair of the judges, children’s literature expert and children’s books editor of The Guardian Julia Eccleshare said, ‘It has been an exceptionally strong year for debut novels, and any of the seven books on the shortlist would have made a worthy winner. However, the judges felt that My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a practically perfect novel. The writing is excellent, the difficult premise is handled with great skill, and Pitcher absolutely captures the voice of ten year-year-old Jamie.’ A delighted Annabel Pitcher said, ‘I am beyond thrilled to win this fantastic award. Wow! My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece started off as scribbles in a notepad and to see it now as a published book, winning this prize, makes me very proud indeed. It would not be the novel it is without the wisdom, guidance and expertise of my wonderful editor, Fiona Kennedy, so I am delighted that we have won this award together. I look forward to working together for many more years to come. Annabel’s editor, Fiona Kennedy said, ‘I always think of the Branford Boase as a [- CONT -] The Branford Boase Award gratefully acknowledges support from Walker Books and Dame Jacqueline Wilson O.B.E. very special award to be shortlisted for, and even nicer to win, of course! I’m absolutely thrilled that the judges chose My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece as the 2012 winner, and have acknowledged Annabel’s outstanding talent. We’re immensely proud at Orion to have been able to launch her writing career and we love working with her.’ Annabel Pitcher graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English and an ambition to become a children’s author. She had a variety of jobs before deciding to travel the world and focus on writing. The idea for My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece came to her in a youth hostel in Ecuador and she wrote much of the novel while on the move. She lives in Yorkshire and is working on her second novel. Fiona Kennedy joined Orion at its beginning, running the children’s list since 2003 as Publisher and launching Indigo, a YA imprint in autumn 2011. The lists include literary and commercial fiction for all ages and Fiona has edited million copy plus bestsellers Francesca Simon, Michelle Paver, Liz Kessler, Caroline Lawrence and Sally Gardner among others. The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of prize-winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books. Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in 1999. The award is specifically to encourage new writers and to highlight the importance of the editor in nurturing new talent. It has an extremely successful record in picking future best-selling and critically acclaimed authors. Previous shortlisted and winning writers include Marcus Sedgwick, Meg Rosoff, Philip Reeve, William Nicholson and Frank Cottrell Boyce. This year’s judges are independent bookseller Kate Agnew, of The Children’s Bookshop Muswell Hill; Carol Webb, 2011 School Librarian of the Year; Fiona Lafferty, editorial director of the Good Book Guide and Jason Wallace, author of Out of Shadows, winner of last year’s Branford Boase Award. The panel is chaired by Julia Eccleshare, children’s books editor of The Guardian. The 2012 winners of the Award were announced on Thursday July 5th at a ceremony at Walker Books in London. Former Children’s Laureate Dame Jacqueline Wilson presented Annabel Pitcher with a cheque for £1,000 and both Annabel and Fiona Kennedy received a unique, hand-crafted silver-inlaid box. For further information please contact Andrea Reece on 07807893369 or email@example.com Notes to Editors: The annual Branford Boase Award celebrates the most promising book for seven year-olds and upwards written by a first-time novelist and also highlights the importance of the editor in the development of new authors. The shortlisted authors may have published other books in another genre – for example, poetry or a picture book – but eligibility for the prize requires that this is their first children’s novel. The Branford Boase Award gratefully acknowledges support from Walker Books and Dame Jacqueline Wilson O.B.E. As well as encouraging publishers to find and promote new writers, the Award sets out to alert readers of all ages to the work of interesting newcomers. The other titles on the 2012 shortlist were Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough, edited by Annie Eaton and Natalie Doherty (Bodley Head) Being Billy by Phil Earle, edited by Shannon Park (Puffin) Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans, edited by Annie Eaton and Ruth Knowles (Bodley Head) Everybody Jam by Ali Lewis, edited by Charlie Sheppard (Andersen Press) Sky Hawk by Gill Lewis, edited by Liz Cross (OUP) A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master, edited by Emma Matthewson (Bloomsbury) The Branford Boase Award was set up in memory of the outstanding and prize- winning author Henrietta Branford and Wendy Boase, editorial director and one of the founders of Walker Books. They worked together on a number of Henrietta’s novels, a partnership they greatly enjoyed. Both Henrietta and Wendy died of cancer in 1999. Running alongside the Branford Boase Award, the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition encourages writing talent in under 18s. Jacqueline Wilson also presented prizes at the ceremony to six children, winners of the competition. The Award is the joint idea of Julia Eccleshare and Anne Marley. Julia is the children’s books editor of The Guardian and co-director of the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. Anne was Head of Children’s, Youth & Schools Services for Hampshire Library & Information Service for many years. She has served on many children’s book award panels, including the CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Awards. For more information about the award and the Henrietta Branford Writing Competition visit www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk . Images are also available on www.branfordboaseaward.org.uk/bbapress.html Or contact Andrea Reece on 07807893369 or firstname.lastname@example.org [- ENDS -] The Branford Boase Award gratefully acknowledges support from Walker Books and Dame Jacqueline Wilson O.B.E.
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