Success at 2nd Annual Haringey Children’s Book Awards

This year, Collage have sponsored several writing workshops for over 140 schoolchildren as part of the Haringey Children’s Book Festival. We had the opportunity to visit the award ceremony this month.

If the morning workshops were anything to go by, the 2nd annual Haringey Children’s Book awards ceremony promised to be lively, full of excited children and equally enthused authors!  Kicking off the celebrations at Highland High School, groups of children from several local schools swarmed shortlisted authors and local patrons of reading with requests for books to be bought and signed.  A sign that the awards really have helped to encourage and foster a love of books even further!

The shortlisted books for 2016 were: Phoenix by SF Said, Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes, The Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen, The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell, and The Broken King by Philip Womack.

When it came time for the award ceremony itself, Heartlands High auditorium was packed with over 200 local schoolchildren, their teachers, authors, publishers and supporters of the award including local arts charity and funder of the writing workshops, Collage Arts, Catherine West MP and The Big Green Bookshop.

One of the best things about the award is that all pupils from schools involved vote for their favourite author on the day. Votes were cast right up until the last minute and were counted while the audience was treated to talks from founder of HCBA Helen Swinyard, Catherine West and a fabulous Q and A panel with 3 of the shortlisted authors Polly Ho-Yen, SF Said and Philip Womack.

Announced by 2015 winner, Gill Lewis, the whole audience was on tenterhooks, until it was revealed that author of epic space adventure ‘Phoenix’, SF Said, was the proud recipient of the 2016 Haringey Children’s Book Award.  With most of the book having been written in Haringey Libraries, it seemed like a perfect fit!  Talking about the awards, SF said ‘Thank you so much!  It was a fantastic day, and brilliant just to be a part of it, let alone for Phoenix to win!  I thoroughly enjoyed both the workshop and the Q&A.’.

At Collage Arts, we’re looking forward to help support an even bigger Haringey Children’s Book Award next year! Schools wishing to take part in future awards can  contact Helen at Heartlands High School and join the mailing list.


Helen Swinyard [email protected]