One Wednesday morning in the office a while back now, I was told a literary agent was on the phone for me. The usual cold fingers of panic ran up my spine as I thought about my submissions pile, teetering electronically in my inbox. But it was OK. It was Becky Bagnell, of the Lindsay Literary Agency, merely wishing to add to it.
She’d picked a good time. Almost lunch and finding it hard to type and eat at the same time, I started reading her submission. TIME BOMB TEDDY by Pamela Butchart; it sounded good, and it was short. Cheering things as I only had a small sandwich. I was three lines in before I laughed for the first time. When I’d finished the submission (and the sandwich) I rang Becky back, mayonnaise getting everywhere, and told her how much I’d liked it.
Fast forward through the following months (past meetings in small Spanish restaurants in North London that Kate came to by mistake; past signing tours during which we lost Waterstones; past cut-out cats and lovely Scottish weddings; past editing, and designing, and publication (as BABY ALIENS GOT MY TEACHER!), and writing, and more designing, and selling (always selling) – pause briefly to cheer as Pamela invites a small girl at the RHCB Award up on stage for a crisp – and then press play as Pamela Butchart, and illustrator Thomas Flintham, and second novel THE SPY WHO LOVED SCHOOL DINNERS, only go and win the Blue Peter Award for Best Story! Today!
The winners of the awards were announced this morning on Newsround, and you can catch both Pamela and Thomas on Blue Peter this afternoon, at 5.30pm.
We are, so so pleased for the book, and for Pamela and Thomas! This is such an fantastic award – chosen by over 200 children across the UK – and such wonderful recognition for a truly brilliant book.
Here’s a look inside The Spy Who Loved School Dinners:
Congratulations, Pamela and Thomas!