The award was made at the All Party Writers Group (APWG) Winter Reception at the House of Commons by Lord Hill, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Schools, who presented a £2,000 cheque to the winners. Bill Bryson shared the cash prize with Felicia Law.
Last year I went along to the award ceremony and felt very grand being at the House of Commons. I had to have my photo taken for the security badge as I entered and the canapes and wine were very good. I get an invite because I am on the Educational Writers' Group committee for the Society of Authors.
This year I decided not to go along as it was cold and I have been going to London quite a bit recently - the guilt has finally set in. However, maybe I should have gone. It sounded like a fun evening. The 2010 Award focused on books for 12 -18 year olds published in 2009 and 2010. A Really Short History of Nearly Everything beat off strong competition from a shortlist that was described as:
“highlighting humour, scholarship and lateral thinking.”
Fellow shortlistees for 2010 included: Ben Crystal for Shakespeare on Toast (Icon Books); John Farndon for Do You Think You’re Clever? (Icon Books) and Liz Strachan for A Slice of Pi (Constable).
The 2010 judging panel comprised three educational experts: school librarian Maggy Campbell, teacher Louise Gerrard and writer Stewart Ross.
The submission deadline for the 2011 award for the 5 – 11 year age group is 1st June 2011.