All hail… Queen James!

On Friday 11th July, we dusted off our pink frocks and hopped down to the train station to take a trip to Godalming for the one and only QUEEN OF TEEN AWARDS CEREMONY! The Queen of Teen is a really fun award for teen and YA authors run by The Book People, and it’s quite the desirable title! In case you somehow missed the campaigning in advance, we were crossing our fingers for the first ever BOY QUEEN with the lovely James Dawson, author of SAY HER NAME and BEING A BOY. He had been very proactive on the voting in advance, even roping in the recent winner of Eurovision, Conchita Wurst to put in a good word for him… or did she?

But despite all this, we had no idea in advance who had won, and spent most of the journey speculating – it was such a fantastic shortlist including authors like Holly Smale, Cassandara Clare, Veronica Roth and even a competitor for the Boy Queen title, John Green! The Book People put on a fantastic awards ceremony which felt like a lovely day out, and definitely not a day of work! We arrived for a tasty¬†lunch first, meeting James’ superfan Jack and his friends and family before we sat down to some delicious food. There were even badges with James’ face on them!

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We sat chatting for a while before the limo turned up to whisk¬†the shortlisted authors off to The Book People’s office for the ceremony – now that might sound unglamorous but it turns out their office is a MANSION surrounded by gorgeous green fields, and with the marquee and pink carpet set up it was quite the beautiful setting! As we settled into our seats, the authors rolled up to take their walk down that oh so pink carpet!

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The ceremony was a fantastic show for anyone who thinks teens don’t read – each author came up to receive their tiara and had a speech from their superfan to explain why they should win. The superfans were eloquent, moving, and so enthusiastic – a few of them even brought tears to our eyes! We loved Jack’s speech for James, he did a great job representing for the boys reading too. Each pair posed for photos with the epic pink throne (I wonder where they keep it the rest of the year??)

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Then came the moment we were all waiting for… and the winner was J A M E S! We were so pleased to hear his hard work had paid off and that the fans had voted James as the new Queen of Teen – James was a little surprised to say the least, but managed to give a speech and receive his giant shiny crown!

So all that was left to do was CELEBRATE! And my, what an astounding selection of cakes and treats were on offer! Homemade lollipops and sweetie trees and mini doughnuts and cupcakes… It was like being in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!

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James was still in a slight daze as he signed books for the pupils who had attended and did some filming with The Book People – but there was just enough time for his publicist to sneak into the throne when his back was turned (I think it suits me) and his editor to have a try of the crown, before James had to dash off to another awards ceremony – The Sussex Schools’ Amazing Book Award – which he ALSO WON. A good day for James!

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We’re so thrilled to see James inherit the crown from the wonderful Maureen Johnson, and we know he can’t wait to get using the queenly power for good – but he wants to know what YOU want – how do you want him to use his reign? If you’ve got any ideas why not tweet him @_jamesdawson and let him know? Before he left the ceremony, James had to perform his very first royal duty which was presenting the amazing Claudia who had baked the array of cakes with some beautiful flowers – and looking very regal doing so!

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