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Winner Announced For New Horizons Book Awards


3:06pm 10th June 2014

Young bookworms in Dorset have cast their vote on the winner for this year’s New Horizons Book Award.

The biennial award organised by Dorset County Council’s library service encourages young people to explore some of the best fiction for nine to 13-year-olds. More than 500 youngsters from schools across the county took part and voted for their favorite book.

Selected from a shortlist of six, this year’s winning novel was “I’m Dougal Trump….and it’s not my fault’ and author Jackie Marchant accepted the award on Dougal’s behalf.

New Horizons aims to promote the work of recently published debut authors and encourage young readers to move away from tried and tested authors and to try something new.

Aspiring young authors are also encouraged to start their own writing journey, and over 50 entries were submitted as part of the competition.

The award ceremony took place at The Exchange in Sturminster Newton and was hosted by professional storyteller, Taprisha, who told tales to an audience of young people from Clayesmore Prep School, Ferndown Middle School and Shaftesbury School.

They were also inspired by fantasy writer Marcus Alexander and newly published, local author Rebecca Westcott who talked about the inspiration behind their very different journeys to becoming published authors.

Cllr Colin Jamieson, Dorset County Council’s cabinet member for community services, said the New Horizons Book Award was a ‘wonderful initiative’ and added: “It’s all about engaging children in reading for fun and developing a wider love for reading. It is wonderful to see them using their imagination to develop their writing skill by exposure to good books. It was great that so many young people took part, and put pen to paper, telling us their own imaginative stories.”

Local author Gill Lewis had the difficult task of selecting the winning entries for the writing competition in each category

The winners were:

Year 5 to Year 6: The strangest sea by Dolly Payne, (Trent Young’s Endowed Primary School)

Year 7 to Year 8: Twisted fate by Tiegan James, (Clayesmore Prep School)

Each short listed writer received a set of books signed by Jackie, Marcus and Rebecca. The overall winners also received Kobo Arc tablet computers.

The next New Horizons Award and Competition will run in 2016.

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