Southwick reading patron shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019

Author Vashti Hardy, patron of reading at Glebe Primary School in Southwick, has been nominated for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019.

Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious accolades in the world of books, the awards have several categories and one overall winner.

Author Vashti Hardy with pupils at a Brightstorm book signing

Author Vashti Hardy with pupils at a Brightstorm book signing

Finalists were announced today, Thursday, February 7, and include Vashti Hardy, shortlisted in the younger fiction category for her novel Brightstorm.

Read more: Bedtime story campaign supported by author

Vashti said: “I’m absolutely delighted, thrilled and over the moon (in a sky-ship) that Brightstorm has made the shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year.

“It means the world that booksellers at Waterstones across the country have embraced the crew and championed me as a debut author, helping Brightstorm to find its way into children’s hands.

“I’ve had the privilege of meeting some of the most enthusiastic booksellers in the country in the past year – a huge thank you to all.”

Vashti developed a special interest in children’s writing when working as a primary school teacher.

She has a first-class honours teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in creative writing from the University of Chichester.

After leaving teaching to focus more on her writing, she became a copywriter and digital marketing executive.

Brightstorm is her debut novel, a fast-paced fantasy adventure, telling the story of twins Arthur and Maudie’s race to salvage their family’s reputation following the death of their famous explorer father.

Read more: Worthing illustrator shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019

Holly Jones, children’s bookseller at Waterstones Brighton, said: “Brightstorm is a fast-paced adventure full of excitement, mystery and unlikely heroes. A truly vibrant and charming read similar to the likes of Katherine Rundell and Abi Elphinstone, it’s a daring tale that will keep you gripped to the very end.”

The winners will be announced at an evening reception at Waterstones Piccadilly on Thursday, March 21, 2019.

Six books will compete in each category and the three category winners will be vying for the overall title of Waterstones Children’s Book of the Year 2019.

The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, in its 15th year, rewards and champions new and emerging talent in children’s books.

Brighton has enjoyed particular success, with the city producing three category winners over the years, including Joe Todd Stanton (Illustrated Books 2018), Liz Pichon (Younger Fiction 2012) and Patrice Lawrence (Older Fiction 2017).

Last year’s winner, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas shot to the top of the bestseller charts following the award announcement and saw an increase in sales of over 900 per cent across the Waterstones estate.

Worthing illustrator shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019

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