Southern Schools Book Awards - Hurstpierpoint College

Southern Schools Book Awards

Last Friday evening, Hurst had the pleasure of hosting the 2024 Southern Schools Book Award Presentation Evening, organised by our fantastic Library team. The event saw nearly 30 different schools come together in the New Bury Theatre, to hear from this year’s five shortlisted authors: Brianna Bourne, Sue Divin, Tia Fisher, Ravena Guron and Laura Wood. Chris Bradford, author of The Young Samurai series, hosted the event along with renowned illustrator and political cartoonist, Chris Riddell.

The evening saw each author share their novel’s story, as well as their plans for their next literary project. Huge congratulations to Ravena Guron for securing the winning spot this year with This Book Kills; an Agatha Christie-inspired murder mystery set in a school which sees young Jess Choudhary caught up in the centre of a criminal investigation. A special mention must also go to Laura Wood for placing ‘Highly Commended’ with The Agency for Scandal; an emboldening, romantic story set in the nineteenth century, which follows an all-female investigative agency as they work to right wrongs in upper class society.

Throughout the evening, Chris Riddell entertained the audience as he livestreamed a series of superb drawings of our speakers, including of our Head of Sixth Form, Brian Schofield! Best known for illustrating and co-authoring The Edge Chronicles series with Paul Stewart, it was incredible to watch Chris in action as he tailored his drawings to the key messages and anecdotes being shared by the authors in real time. His sketches of each of the novel’s front covers were also particularly impressive.

A special thanks also go to local independent bookstore, The Book Nook in Hove, for providing all of the authors’ novels, and more, for the book signing which followed the presentation. The attending students purchased novels written by all of the ceremony’s speakers and presenters, and many books, bags, and posters were signed afterwards!

Hurst’s Library team are looking forward to reading all of next year’s books, and hosting next year’s ceremony.

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