By Nikki Mitchell
Carmen Reid has won the award for her novel ‘Cross My Heart’ - a gripping story of espionage and war-time resistance, which has been published by Corgi Children’s Books.
Celebrating its 20th year, the award gives pupils the chance to vote for their favourite book from recently published fiction for teenagers.
After a few months of reading then casting their votes in a secret ballot, pupils and guests gathered at the award ceremony at Montrose Town Hall to hear the results announced.
Montrose Academy students Jason Robbie and Hayley Glennie, who hosted the event, presented the prize of £500 and the Angus Book Award trophy of the Aberlemno serpent stone to Carmen.
She said: I’m really surprised and delighted and just totally honoured to win this award. Thank you so much to everyone involved. It’s been amazing!”
After growing up on a farm near Montrose, Carmen went to a girls’ boarding school in Edinburgh before going to London to study English Literature at University College. After working as a journalist in London she moved to Glasgow.
Councillor Sheena Welsh, Angus Council convener, said: “Congratulations to Carmen on her win.
“The competition this year was very tough and I’d like to extend my congratulations to all of the short-listed authors.
“ In Angus we have so many pupils who enjoy reading and I’m delighted that we have so many of them who have enthusiastically taken part in the process to choose the winner.
“Over the last 20 years these awards have encouraged teenagers to be enthused about reading
“Here’s to the next 20 years – and beyond – where we will continue to provide exciting opportunities for new generations of Angus pupils to meet with authors.”
Film presentations showcasing pupils’ skills were screened at the event and prizes for the best alternative book jacket and book blurb were announced. The afternoon ceremony followed a morning of events with the four short-listed authors – previous winner Alan Gibbons, Chris Priestley and C.J. Flood as well as Carmen - taking place in the library, Montrose Museum and Montrose Academy, as well as the town hall.
Sponsors of the event were Micro Librarian Systems with prizes for pupils donated by Scotia Books.