Kintore author Alex McCall, one of Scotland’s youngest published authors, has won a top award.
Alex was announced as the winner of the Younger Readers (8-11 yrs) category of the Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2015, which celebrate the most popular children’s and young adult books by Scottish authors or illustrators.
Scotland’s largest book prize for children’s authors and illustrators (each winning book receives £3,000), the Scottish Children’s Book Awards are voted for exclusively by children and are run by Scottish Book Trust and funded by Creative Scotland.
More than 28,000 votes were cast in this year’s awards, which are judged in three age categories - Bookbug Readers (3-7), Younger Readers (8-11) and Older Readers (12-16). Children across Scotland were encouraged to read the three shortlisted books in their age category and to vote for their favourite.
Alex won the Younger Readers (8-11 yrs) category for his first novel Attack of the Giant Robot Chickens, a hilarious story packed with adventure and chicken jokes.
Alex, who grew up in Kittybrewster, wrote the novel in just six months after being inspired to put pen to paper when author Caroline Clough visited his school in 2013.
Alex currently splits his time between promoting his book and studying Filmmaking and Screenwriting at the University of the West of Scotland in Ayr.
This inaugural book was published by Kelpies and has already won the 2013 Kelpies Prize, part of the Edinburgh Festival.
Commenting on his win, Alex said: “There’s something of a feeling of coming full circle here. This is my first book and it got published through the Kelpies Prize.
“But the only reason that I found out about the Kelpies Prize is through a previous winning author coming to my school, through the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Fund. So while I’m delighted to win I also feel very lucky that Scottish Book Trust exists in the first place.
“Being able to go into school and meet the children that you are writing for is fantastic enough as it is. Knowing that those kids have voted for you makes it even better. In general participating in the Awards has been a really good experience. It is just hard to believe that I’ve been lucky enough to actually win.”