SMART wins the Leeds Book Awards 2015 (11-14 category)

Posted on May 29, 2015 in News & Events

I had such a lovely time at the Leeds Book Awards on Tuesday, 19th May. You might say that’s no surprise, as Smart won the 11-14 category but the whole event was so well organised and ran so smoothly, I know all the authors who attended felt the same way.

I travelled up to Pudsey Civic Hall from Nottingham and arrived just after noon to be greeted by Tim, my personal chaperone for the afternoon! After a light buffet lunch and coffee in the authors’ room, we went downstairs to a packed hall with over 300 students.

Andy, the MC, provided great poetry and word fun and all the authors took part in a Q & A session with the audience.

THEN. . .it was time for the secrets of the golden envelopes to be revealed!

The 11-14 category golden envelope was opened and read in style by pupil, Alex. What an amazing moment when I heard the words, ‘the winner is SMART by Kim Slater’ – even more special because SMART was voted the winner by the young people in the audience.

After the 14-16 winner, Bali Rai, was announced, all the authors moved to the back of the hall for the signings! Again, really well organised, with students bringing notebooks, copies of Smart and even school library copies, to be signed.

I was so touched and surprised to receive wonderful letters and pieces of artwork, all related to Smart. I’ve included some of them here.
I will be writing to the students who went to such trouble!

Miriam, aged 11 (nearly 12!), of Allerton High School really excelled herself with the superb art in her SMART booklet…Kieran would be SO impressed!


Miriam even designed a new SMART cover below, which I love!


I got spoiled with this super bookmark, made just for me!


…and the cutest mini-notebook ever – a real notebook that I can actually write notes in for my next book!

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Thank you Miriam, you are an absolute STAR!!

Another gorgeous SMART booklet was made for me by Chiara of Allerton High School.


Thank you Chiara!

Lovely, lovely letters from Daisy and Erin aged 13. Both really enjoyed reading Smart . . . I’m so pleased!

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And now two little mysteries that Kieran would definitely want solving:

Lovely Abbie drew me this fabulous picture. I’m hoping it is a pic of me because I LOVE my dress, hair and high heels!


I’d like to know Abbie’s surname and which school she attends. Abbie, or anyone that knows Abbie….please let me know via this website or on Twitter!

I loved this splendid piece of work: KIERAN’S NOTEBOOK! But again, a bit of a mystery is attached . . .


Kieran would especially approve of the To Do list at the back of the notebook!

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BUT the wonderful artist who made this, forgot to put his/her name on the notebook…please help me identify the mystery student!

[UPDATE: Thanks to the excellent investigation skills of Mrs Thresh and Mrs Walker, I now know the lovely student who designed Kieran’s notebook is Sami from Allerton High . . . thank you so much, Sami!]

Thank you so much to the students above and to all the young people who came to speak to me on Tuesday. I am so pleased you all loved SMART and I would like to thank each and every person who voted for the book to win the prestigious 11-14 category of the Leeds Book Award 2015.

It really was a pleasure to meet you Kim. I was so impressed by the number of young people who had written to you and done such brilliant artwork. I can only imagine how it must feel to touch so many hearts and minds.



Hi Pauline,
The praise is totally deserved by you and your team! It was a lovely day and the 9-11 awards looked equally as fab :-)
The children’s work was amazing, wasn’t it? Really chuffed the mystery artist has now been named…got an email from Anne! Thanks very much for sending her the link.
Will definitely be back to Leeds, hopefully in the autumn term.
Best wishes,
Kim xx


Hi. Kim
Wow thanks for such high praise in your blog! Thank you so much for sharing the kids work I’d heard about it but not seen it! I can find out for you from the high school librarians who the mystery artist is although it may be a week or so as they break up for half term tomorrow.
We celebrated the 9-11 Awards today with 500 kids- Jane Elson won, it was another awesome event – thank goodness for a 3 day weekend coming up! Please keep in touch with Leeds and come back SOON
Love Pauline from SLS xx

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