No room at the Plaza

And let me start by saying this has got nothing to do with the nice people at the Plaza.

This is where I would have told you all about last night’s glittering ceremony for the Stockport Schools’ Book Awards. Quite logical to cover something so close to home, for a change, with no tiring travel. I thought so. The organiser with the library service thought not. I hadn’t been invited. (So, invite me.)

After months and months of helpful behaviour from publishers and friendliness from authors (thank you), I should have known better than to expect anything at all from those whose pay comes from our rates. They are from the very same organisation which informed me that my (then) eleven-year-old shouldn’t read Terry Pratchett. They are working for the same local council that refused practical assistance for child on crutches to get to school.

Anyway, after I found out about the event (Daughter was invited through school), I spent ten days trying to work out who to contact about getting a ticket/invitation/whatever. You’d think they would have a website/page that can be found. (But I now know that Stockport has a Curry Chef award.)

So, knowing that Tim Bowler had been shortlisted, I asked him. He was coming, he said, but any information would be with his publisher. So, on to OUP, where I now have contacts, and they put me in touch with the right person. She in turn gave me the name of the one who then took such delight in saying no.

A book award in Stockport doesn’t sound like much, but I understand it’s good. Many excellent and well known authors are shortlisted. For Key Stage 4 (where Daughter voted) we had Tim, Michael Morpurgo and John Boyne. In another group Lee Weatherly. This is why I persevered, when I’d normally give up. But my “sparring partner” was made of stronger stuff. What I read in her replies was that I was a suspicious character trying to sneak into a children’s event. (According to Daughter one of my friends was there…)

A very last minute plea to Daughter’s headteacher got a sympathetic reply, but I was too late. At least he was nice.

I don’t know if the Stockport Express was there. They have a larger readership than I do. However, my readers are interested in books, and cover the globe, and my blog reaches parts the SE doesn’t. But who cares about spreading the word about their book awards scheme?

You’ll be pleased to hear that Tim Bowler won the KS 4 award. And from another source of information I believe that Alan Durant won in a younger category.

And you’ll be even more relieved that after this little outburst the witch will attempt to be her normal sunny self for a long time to come. Attempt to, I said.

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4 responses to “No room at the Plaza

  1. There’s always next year, Bookwitch!

  2. Congratulations to Tim Bowler – great writer and lovely man.

    The Stockport harridan didn’t go by the name of Umbridge, did she, Bookwitch? A muggle relative of Dolores, perhaps?

  3. Oh no, Julie. Now I’ll visualise her as Umbridge, and I’ll get nightmares.

    In fairness, Anna from OUP said it was all very well organised.

  4. I have now had a reply from the head of Stockport’s library services. In short, I’m a bad witch. And I should have written about the whole thing more nicely.
    I don’t think so.

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