Posted on March 14, 2015 in News & Events

Today, I attended the De Montford University in Leicester to hear the live announcement of the East Midlands Book Award (EMBA) 2015 shortlist.

I am delighted and proud that Smart is one of the six shortlisted books in this prestigious local regional award and I was able to do a quick reading from the novel for the audience.

Massive congratulations to the other East Midlands authors who have made it to the shortlist!

It was so great to see my former Nottingham Trent University (NTU) tutor and acclaimed poet, Mahendra Solanki, now Warwick’s Royal Literary Fund Fellow. It doesn’t seem any time at all since I sat in Mahendra’s office, early in 2007, being interviewed as a mature student interested in pursuing an MA in Creative Writing. Mahendra persuaded me to enrol on the English & Creative Writing degree first and I’m very grateful for that, as the three years I studied on the full-time degree proved to be invaluable in my journey as a published writer.

I met lots of lovely new people and I was especially chuffed when my BA and MA dissertation tutor, David Belbin, congratulated me on Twitter. David was always a positive and inspiring influence during my time at NTU and I greatly admire his writing.

After the EMBA annoucement, Mac and I headed home to Nottingham and OF COURSE we had to pop into Waterstones. As any author knows, you never get tired of seeing your book on display. And what a treat was in store for us today! Waterstones NG, who hosted my book launch for Smart in June 14 and who have been incredibly supportive of me as a local author, have created an amazing and striking display of Smart downstairs in the store.

The EMBA shortlist is the SEVENTH award nomination for Smart and I couldn’t be happier.

Call it a cliche, call what you will….but put the work in and believe in yourself, don’t give up and dreams really can come true!

The updated award list for Smart is:


Shortlisted for Waterstones Children’s Book Prize

Longlisted for Carnegie Prize


WINNER – St Helen’s Book Award (BASH)

WINNER – Leeds Book Award (age 11-14)

RUNNER-UP – Shropshire Teen Book Award


East Midlands Book Award

The Worcestershire Teen Book Award


Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published.