And then it was time to open the envelopes and reveal the winners.
First category... picture book. From an amazing selection, the winner was the lovely Matt Carr for his wonderful story, 'Superbat'. He could not have been more surprised- or pleased! He was almost lost for words!
Next, the Poetry Category. So important, yet often neglected in schools, the short list offers a brilliant selection with something for every occasion. The winner was 'Reaching the Stars' by Jan Dean, Liz Brownlee and Michaela Morgan.
Although Michaela and Jan were unable to attend, Liz Brownlee and the lovely Lola, her medical alert dog, were with us to accept the award.
Next...the Read Aloud Category. Great books for engaging a class at story time, each of these books is a treat. The winner was 'SCREAM The Mummy's Revenge' by Andrew Beasley.
Andrew was delighted to win and told us all how he had always dreamed of being an author.
Next, the Information Category. Four excellent titles- each beautifully illustrated and fascinating-perfect for National Non-fiction November, the winner was Martin Brown's 'Lesser Spotted Animals'.
Well known for illustrating the very popular 'Horrible Histories' (celebrating 25 years!), Martin wrote and illustrated 'Lesser Spotted Animals' and was very pleased to win.
The Quality Fiction Category is all about those books which lend themselves to inspiring children in their work. As with each of our categories, this year's short list was extremely strong. Each of the authors in this category was able to attend and so the atmosphere was particularly tense as Will opened the envelope...
And the winners were Hilary Robinson and Martin Impey with their book 'A Song for Will and the Lost Gardeners of Heligan'. Winners last year of the Poetry Category with 'Flo of the Somme', Hilary and Martin spoke passionately about this very special book which commemorates the life of the gardeners of Heligan, particularly William Robins Guy who died in the war. Showing us all a book once owned by Will, Martin explained that Will's nephew, Trounce Guy, had given it to him when he was writing the book.
Last, but definitely not least, was our Moving On Category. Many children in Y6 moving to Y7 are ready for a challenging read, yet not really ready to move on to YA fiction: these books are to help teachers with suggested reads. 'Black Powder' by Ally Sherrick won this category. Ally was delighted to win and know that we enjoyed her book.
It was such a lovely occasion. Everyone was so kind and said how much they had enjoyed the day- no one was keen to leave! Already people are talking about next year...perhaps we'll have a week off before we start planning!