Author wins major national prize

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Frank Cottrell Boyce © Royal Exchange Theatre/Flicker

Liverpool author Frank Cottrell Boyce has been named the winner of the 2012 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize, for his novel ‘The Unforgotten Coat’.

Cottrell Boyce beat other famous names like Roddy Doyle and Eva Ibbotson to win the £1,500 Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He is also nominated for a Roald Dahl Funny Prize for ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again’, a sequel to Ian Fleming’s famous 1964 original book.

He is also a well-known screen and television writer and devised some of the acclaimed Olympics Opening Ceremony’s key moments, along with director Danny Boyle.

He presented the book to Liverpool charity, The Reader Organisation, to promote reading and 50,000 free copies of the story, about two brothers from Mongolia who come to Merseyside but are forced to return to their homeland, were distributed across Merseyside.

The judges of the Guardian Children’s Fiction prize, said it contained “a very profound message dressed up in a magical, original, humorous story”.

Cottrell Boyce, who was appointed professor of reading at Liverpool Hope University this year, said it was “amazing” to win.

He told the Reader Organisation: “I love the Guardian prize, the fact it’s given by other writers, and that it’s gone to books I loved reading, like The Owl Service. It’s fantastic to win it anyway, but to win with something so exuberant, that was not trying to win any awards, is really great. This is a book that was written for fun, and for friendship.”

About Rachael Laird, JMU Journalism