Fury is all the rage at book awards
AUTHOR Alexander Gordon Smith has been named the winner of a literary prize judged by schoolchildren in South Gloucestershire.
The children's fiction writer was presented with the Concorde Award 2013 for his novel The Fury at a ceremony held yesterday at the Bristol and Bath Science Park in Emersons Green.
He earned the most votes from pupils of the six authors shortlisted for the award, which is in its sixth year and is aimed at encouraging more students to read novels for pleasure.
Mr Smith, who had been shortlisted for the award for the first time, told an audience of 150 school children, librarians, teachers and councillors that he was delighted to come out on top.
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Clutching his Bristol Blue Glass plate, he said: "I'm blown away – I'm so thrilled. It's the one I really wanted to win because it's decided by the passionate readers and not the stuffy adults – it makes all the difference."
Pupils aged 11 to 13 from secondary schools and library groups across South Gloucestershire read the short-listed books over the course of several months, before voting for their favourite title on World Book Day last week.
Representatives from four schools and a library group gave presentations to the audience at yesterday's ceremony and there was a speech from children's author Joffre White before the winner was announced.
Pupils from Marlwood School received an award for the best contribution to the Concorde Blog, which was set up to offer pupils a chance to share their verdicts on the shortlisted titles.
To end the ceremony, shortlisted author Mark Robson, who wrote The Devil's Triangle, gave an unexpected demonstration of his taekwondo skills by striking a wooden block with his hand and breaking it in half, much to the delight of the audience.
The competition was supported by The Post, whose deputy editor Rob Stokes presented the award.
He said: "We have been delighted to be involved with this year's Concorde Award and would be delighted to support it again in the future."