Personally, I was super-pleased that I got the chance to chat with Georgina Kirk, author of Once Upon a Princess a very Hairy Beard Did Grow before she was crowned Brit Writers Unpublished Writer of the Year 2011 (overall winner of £10k).
It was fabulous to see so many children attending the event, who were obviously enjoying the whole experience and, more importantly, had enjoyed the process of getting there and discovering their talent for writing. For information ~ and quoting the BWA directly: The Brit Writers act as a springboard to trigger a revival of love for creative writing. To date, over 1.8 million school children are involved in their creative writing programme and Brit Writers provide downloadable lesson plans, writing resources and ideas for teachers to keep the subject interesting and bring it all to life. Just a hunch, but I suspect it’s working.
I was also thrilled to finally meet former teacher, Catherine Cooper, who won last year’s Unpublished Writer of the Year Award, along with a publishing deal, for her children’s novel, The Golden Acorn. Catherine is now a bestselling author (named by the Observer as one of the four in the running to fill the JKR void) and also has a movie in the making! What many people perhaps won’t know, unless they’ve had the pleasure of chatting with her online, is that Catherine is simply one of the nicest, most supportive and unassuming people you could wish to meet. I love her work, love her, and wish her the absolute best of luck.
As Richard Burton (Infinite Ideas Publishers) reiterated in his speech, the Brit Writers Awards is about encouraging people who are passionate about writing, in all categories. I think it’s achieving its aim, hopefully making dreams come true.