I was recently a guest author at the Kids’ Lit Quiz, run with manic energy on his time off from university teaching by the irrepressable New Zealander, Wayne Mills.
With 41 teams in the room, competition was fierce. But my team (Keren David, Pat Walsh, Anthony McGowan and me) only cared about one thing: beating the other authors’ team. Oh yeah, and having fun. That too. We did lots of that. But beating the other authors’ team was way out there as our major goal.
There were ten rounds, with ten questions each. Topics ranged from mice (we were rubbish) to monsters (not bad) and poetry lines (fantastic: perfect score). Wayne is nothing if not eclectic. He covered AA Milne, Bob the Builder, Eoin Colfer and steampunk.
The kids were amazing. They came from all over South East England and concentrated hard to achieve some impressive scores. They knew some truly amazing stuff. Children are reading out there! In frightening amounts!
Thank goodness for Pat, who I think suggested the most answers on our team, although the others were great too. In the end, we scored a respectable 91. However … we were beaten by the other authors, with 94. Drat and double drat! Personally, I blame Pat.
Candy Gourlay, one of the winners, blogs about it here, with photos.
Did I mention the fun bit? If you love children’s books, and you’re at school, or you know someone who is, make up a team and enter. The winners get book tokens and ultimately a trip to somewhere exotic for the World Final. Last year it was in Edinburgh (OK, not so exotic for us, but exotic if you’re in New Zealand …). Next year it’s New Zealand (what I just said but vice versa), then South Africa, then … I can’t remember. It was possibly my rubbish memory that let us down in the mice round.
Or possibly not. I still blame Pat.