Southern Schools Book Award 2018 Awards Ceremony


This year’s Southern Schools Book Award (SSBA) was held on Friday January 25th in Roedean’s theatre.  We were lucky enough to have Lisa Heathfield hosting, as last year’s winner, and students were certainly appreciative, as she had many big fans in the audience.

On this year’s shortlist were After the Fire by Will Hill, Satellite by Nick Lake, Contagion by Teri Terry, The Extinction Trials by SM Wilson and Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist by John Young. All the authors joined us on Roedean’s stage, except Nick Lake and all held the pupils attention as they spoke about their books and their writing. The topics of the books were extremely diverse, from living on a space station to going on the lam in Scotland and everything in between. They took us to strange worlds with dinosaurs, killer viruses and the distorted world of a cult. The shortlist perfectly encapsulated the joy of reading for pleasure.


The authors then answered questions from students. Will Hill caused a mass ‘awww’ from the audience when he replied that there would be no sequel to After the Fire. The most heartfelt came from John Young when he said that we should all keep life in perspective and be happy. He said that life isn’t always happy or easy, but that this changes and better times will come again. There was appreciative nodding from both pupils and staff at this.

After the compulsory foot-drumming, SM Wilson was awarded Highly Commended and the winner was announced as Will Hill for After the Fire.

Students then queued up to get their books signed by the author(s) of their choice. The they queued there was a general buzz of excitement and happiness.

Students really enjoyed themselves. One said that it had inspired her to read more, which is exactly what SSBA is all about.