BBAs, Eggs, Boats and Quizzes

It’s been a busy few days. I’m surprised how much writing, in the middle of it all, has been done. Not a vast amount, admittedly. But some.

Perhaps it helps that this has been my view since yesterday morning:

CornwallWindowI’m staying with friends in Cornwall, because I was a guest at the Kids’ Lit Quiz World Final, which took place in Falmouth this afternoon. It was FABULOUS, as it always is, with quizmaster Wayne Mills, from New Zealand, setting and asking all the questions, and teams from Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, the USA and the UK all competing for the KLQ cup. And I’m pleased to say that, after a thrilling contest, the UK team – from City of London School for Girls – won! There was much celebration, as you can imagine, by the home crowd.

CLSGIt’s a brilliant event and any school can enter a team of Year 7s and 8s into regional heats, to compete for the national finals. If you’re at a school with keen readers, I recommend you do. Wayne asks challenging and imaginative questions about a vast range of books, from the classics to Veronica Roth. Next year’s world final will be in the USA. Just saying …

On the way, I popped in to a boat party being held in Bath by my old editor, Imogen Cooper (as in, she used to be my editor – she’s not remotely old), to mark the first birthday of her new and amazing Golden Egg Academy. Here’s Barry Cunningham from Chicken House, entertaining writers on the Penny Lane:

PennyLaneThe Golden Egg Academy was just a plan on Imogen’s kitchen table this time last year, and now it has 200 members – all aspiring children’s writers, who get access to top-level editorial input, workshops, writing tools and more, to help them find the heart of their story and get their precious manuscripts ready to submit to agents and publishers.

What was extra lovely was that the party was organised by some of the members themselves. As Ben Illis, a visiting agent, put it in his entertaining Q&A (yes, the boat party had an ask-the-agent Q&A – it was great), one of the most valuable things members would get from the GEA was support from each other, which would last throughout their writing lives. Go find them on Twitter. They’re always at it – asking questions and talking about books. When they’re not eating cake on a boat, that is …

Tea The week before, it was all about the Best Book Awards, run by the Booktrust.

BBACartoonsI’ve written about those on my website, so you’ll find more details there. To cut a long story short, it was another party (I know, but believe me, I spend most of my life not going to parties) and it was also great fun, because it was full of children and grown-ups who are passionate about books. And I lost out to John Green in the 12-14 Best Story Book category. JOHN GREEN! So that was really, really OK.

Here, in case you need to see them, are the shoes:

BBAShoes And here is Helen Skelton, who was one of the judges …

BBAHelenSkelton

And Michael Morpurgo …

BBAMichaelMorpurgo

And Mel Giederoyc, who was hilarious as the main presenter …

BBA2

And this was my seat. Frankly, the event was worth it for my reserved seat sign alone.

BestBookAwards

That’s not the end of the parties. There’s another one on Saturday, for lots of writers and bloggers attending the Young Adult Literature Conference in London. If you’re on the list, I’ll see you there.

Meanwhile, I should probably get on with writing a book.

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