Hurst hosts live Southern Schools Book Award for first time - Hurstpierpoint College

Hurst hosts live Southern Schools Book Award for first time

Students from 18 schools around the South East attended the Southern Schools Book Award presentation evening, hosted live for the first time at the College. The students were excited to take their places in the New Bury Theatre for a celebration of books and reading, after last year’s virtual event.

The Southern Schools Book Award promotes reading for pleasure and is primarily aimed at students in Year 9. The students read the five shortlisted books and then vote for their favourite. It is one of the few reading awards where the winner is decided by young people.

Bex Hogan, the winner of last year’s award (for Viper), played host, and the live drawing of the event by ex-children’s Laureate, Chris Riddell, was a great addition. He captured the essence of the books and authors very swiftly.

All the shortlisted authors attended: Frances Hardinge for Deeplight; Patrice Lawrence for Eight Pieces of Silva; Vincent Ralph for Lock the doors; Julien Sedgwick and Chie Kutsuwada for Tsunami Girl; and Kevin Wignall for When we were lost. Each author talked about their book, and some read a passage to the captivated audience. Hurst prefects were on hand to look after the authors to ensure they had everything they needed.

Vincent Ralph was named as the winner for Lock the Doors. He was overcome with emotion as he told the audience how he had put everything into writing the book. Vincent has already agreed to be the host for next year’s event. Highly commended went to Kevin Wignall for When we were lost.

After the ceremony, the authors remained busy for the rest of the evening with queues of students waiting to get their books signed. The atmosphere was buzzing, and a Hurst student was able to discuss her own writing with Bex Hogan.

It was a great evening, and everyone felt that Vincent Ralph was a worthy winner. Hurst students predicted his win and felt rather pleased they had got it right Dominique Collins, Head of Library

Find out more about Co-curricular activities at Hurst College

Read more about the Southern Schools Book Award