Mid week trip 2 – or Mal Peet wins

the Guardian Children’s fiction prize with Exposure. Mal Peet

More witty blogging about this will follow later this morning, so do call back, won’t you…


Have you any idea how flat a slice of Jamaica cake can become under the weight of  nine books? Very. Flat. But it’s still edible, so I had a flat Jamaica slice with my tea on the train home last night. Well, home and home. Stoke, of all places, which was very tricky to leave. Whether to blame that on Stoke or the satnav remains to be seen. Had a brief chat with old Josiah Wedgwood outside Stoke station. He’s OK.

The Guardian

So, those books were dragged to the Guardian building in Kings Cross and back, all for some more signatures for your witch. It was a successful hunt, too. The only people who didn’t sign, were those who weren’t there, which I can forgive them for.

Andy Stanton's strawberries in chocolate

Very nice to see the new Guardian offices. Not that I’d seen the old ones, but I’m sure they didn’t have all those Bertoia chairs in the old place. Hot though. I’d suggest some form of refrigeration is put in before next time. Meg Rosoff looked as hot as I felt. We all glugged water by the end. And gobbled strawberries.

Andy Stanton, Fiona Dunbar, Patrick Ness and Lee Weatherly

Julia Eccleshare did a pretty good summary of all the longlisted books, before handing the speech-baton over to Patrick Ness, who did a good job of telling us who’d won. And as you have seen above, that winner is Mal Peet, whose book Exposure I finished reading two hours before the event. Must have ‘felt’ it… Mal received a mock-up Guardian front page, which was quite apt, seeing as he’s written about a fictional Guardián in his book.

Mal Peet with Andy Stanton and Patrick Ness

Fiona Dunbar, Meg Rosoff and Eleanor Updale

Unaccompanied by a photographer as I was, I did the best I could. If you were me you’d give me the sack, but hopefully dark and less sharp pictures are better than no pictures? And I suspect that Andy Stanton is an alien, because his red eyes refuse to be edited out. Maybe iPhoto knows something I don’t. Fiona Dunbar looked glamorous as usual. Straight from parents eve at school. Yeah, right.

Sally Gardner

Sally Gardner was disappointed by my lack of witchy clothing. We apologise for our shortcomings. Sally herself could have stepped straight out of the Gudrun Sjödén catalogue. And you can’t believe how scary Celia Rees and Mary Hoffman are. Especially together. The way Mary looked at the proffered sausages… (Celia, I like the hair colour!)

Celia Rees and Mary Hoffman, with Meg Rosoff and Fiona Dunbar in background

Marcus Sedgwick

Lee Weatherly looked wonderful, Marcus Sedgwick managed some Swedish, and I was introduced to Eleanor Updale. Also good to meet more of the lovely PR ladies, from Clare whom I’d seen all of 24 hours earlier, to Tania whom I’d not seen for over a year, but who had not changed her hair, so was totally recognisable. Reetu was there, and so was Nina, and I finally got to meet Lauren. Lee Weatherly

Can anyone give me a good reason why I don’t return to bed now?

(Photos by witch with shaking hands)

6 responses to “Mid week trip 2 – or Mal Peet wins

  1. You did have a busy day on your broomstick yesterday, no wonder you are tired. It was good to see you there and good blog about the prize giving, but Mary and I scary? Never!

  2. Oh but you are! Separately you are a little scary, but seeing you together…

  3. What can I say? We are pussycats, Wait – maybe that was your point!

  4. Pingback: The Murdstone Trilogy | Bookwitch

  5. Pingback: Farewell to Mal Peet | Bookwitch

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