Storm Horse wins 2017 Heart of Hawick Award
We’re thrilled with the news that Storm Horse has won the Junior Fiction category of the wonderful Heart of Hawick Children's Book Award 2017 – congratulations to author Nick Garlick! Thank you to the organizers and the children who voted for Storm Horse as their winner. We asked Nick to write about his day at the ceremony...
Nick (third from left) and the other shortlisted authors, including our very own M.G. Leonard (far left)
‘Is that Nick Garlick?’ I heard a little girl say. I looked to my right and there they were: the twenty-five pupils of Wilton Street Primary 6, in Hawick in Scotland. And they ALL had a question about my book Storm Horse.
Storm Horse was a finalist in the Junior Fiction category of the Heart of Hawick Children’s Book Awards. They’ve been running for ten years now, and the work the organizers put into it – taxis, hotels, school visits, etc. – deserves enough applause to fill a couple of football stadiums. If this is, as rumoured, to be the last such event – at least in its current incarnation – it’s a sad day indeed. Sad for Hawick. Sad for children.
Because in the end it’s children who rule that day. They read the books. They pick the winner. And the ones I met certainly put me through my paces. Where did I get the idea for the Ghost Girl? Why was Uncle Andries so strict? What was my favourite animal? All in all, they’d come up with 300 questions. (Thankfully, the teacher whittled it down to one each!)
Talking to them made me see Storm Horse through the eyes of people I’d never met, yet who were exactly the ones I’d hoped would read it. Storm Horse wasn’t just words on paper any more, but something real, something living in the imaginations of those twenty-five children.
When it was chosen as the winner later that afternoon, that feeling only increased. I can’t tell you what a thrill that was.
And as if that wasn’t enough, after everything was over… there was cake! It tasted as good as it looked.
Photos © Adele Richardson 2017