Great Expectations With SCBWI British Isles

You win a prize, you get to cut the cake! Photo: Sue Eves
I've just come home from a most moving weekend. It was the annual conference of SCBWI British Isles* - an organization of writers and illustrators that has had a huge impact on my creative life.

This year Tall Story won the inaugural Crystal Kite Prize for Europe, the only peer-given prize for children's books.  I was awarded the trophy at the conference and asked to deliver a speech. 

I was also surprised to be given this year's Outstanding Contribution Award. It was particularly poignant for me because last year the prize was won by my friend Margaret Carey, whom we lost to cancer last summer

Receiving the two awards was like getting a huge hug from an organization that has been family to me since I joined in 2002. 

I am not supposed to be doing anything online at the moment, as my book deadline looms, but I just wanted to share my Crystal Kite acceptance speech. I wrote it with a lump in my throat.

Here is the shortlist, and below, my speech.