2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the RED Book Awards and expectations were high!
RED is always eagerly anticipated and enjoyed across Falkirk and the pressure was on to make it the best yet and it didn’t disappoint!
The ceremony is held annually, is hosted by Falkirk Library service and takes place in the town hall.
Following interviews with Yvonne Manning and other committee members, it became clear picking the shortlisted books was a tough task! Eventually they narrowed it down to four - ‘Mind Blind’ by Lari Don, ‘Salvage’ by Keren David, ‘Beneath’ by Gill Arbuthnott and ‘Inflicted’ by Ria Frances.
The books and authors are of course the main aspect of the day but it wouldn’t be complete without participation of the community. Barbara Davidson, the creator of the winning authors plate and local entrepreneur told me that she loves what the RED book awards brings to Falkirk. This year, she wanted to keep the plate simple but still wanted it to tell a story so decided to base it on the kelpies.
The schools and audience also play a significant part. High schools from Falkirk can all participate and without them, there simply would be no winner. It’s them who read and vote for their favourite books, which is what RED is all about. The pupils creative presentations, based on the four shortlisted novels, were entertaining, varying from acting through to video presentations. Their views, opinions and ideas about the novel that they had chosen were well expressed.
However, no RED book award would be complete without the red accessories! Yvonne’s amazing red jacket stole the show, but the pupils had some amazing style to show off as well and competition is as fierce as with the authors! The winners of the accessories competition were decked out in a variety of different shades of red, and they all looked amazing! Kieran Daley, one of the winners from Braes High School, told me that he was loving the day so far and that he loved all the presentations, but he still thought that the ones from Braes were the best! Almost everyone I asked said that one of their favourite accessories was from Louise Kennedy, who was wearing a ‘Cat in The Hat’ hat as well as a red tutu.
But the best part about the RED Book Awards is finding out which author has won. This year, the votes were extremely close, but the winner was Lari Don with ‘Mind Blind’.
Lari told me she was overwhelmed by winning and totally taken by the whole RED award ceremony and particularly enjoyed the pupil participation. If you were as keen on ‘Mind Blind’ as we were then don’t panic, there’s other books in the pipeline! Her to tip to any inspiring young authors is ‘read lots’.
Lari praised organiser and presenter Yvonne Manning ‘for her frankly amazing and ridiculous coat and of course her tireless work in putting the RED Book Awards together.’
Here’s to 2017, game on!
Emma Mackay, Braes High School
Wednesday, 2nd March 2016