The votes are in....and Hackney pupils have declared The Uniform by Tommy Donbavand the winner of the 2011 Hackney Short Novel Awards!
Now in its second year, the Awards sees pupils from secondary schools in Hackney reading and reviewing a shortlist of five novels and voting for a winner. The Short Novels Awards scheme is the result of a collaboration between The Learning Trust, the publishing house Barrington Stoke, local bookshop Victoria Park Books and the Ministry of Stories in Hoxton.
The winning novel was announced at an event held at Hackney Town Hall last Thursday, 26th May, with close to 60 pupils in attendance from the five participating schools – Bridge Academy, Cardinal Pole Catholic School, Petchey Academy, Skinners’ Academy and Stoke Newington School.
Commenting on his win, author Tommy Donbavand said: “I'm thrilled that The Uniform was chosen as the winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award. I'd always wanted to write a spooky story without any zombies, werewolves or other creepy characters - just real people in a terrifying situation - and The Uniform was that story. To hear that people are enjoying reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it is simply wonderful!”
The critically acclaimed writer for children and teenagers Pete Johnson hosted the event and awarded prizes to pupils for their hard work throughout the entire judging process which began in late March/early April. “I’m thrilled to be part of the Hackney Short Novel Award,” said Pete, praising in particular “the way the pupils are right at the centre of the action: reading the books then making their own presentations and deciding the winner. I would love to see such a positive, dynamic scheme rolled out across the rest of the country,” says Pete who answered pupils’ questions and signed copies of his latest book ‘Return of the (Un)Teenager’.