Belfast Telegraph

O'Porter on book prize shortlist

Broadcaster Dawn O'Porter has been shortlisted for a prestigious children's book prize for her first novel.

The star, who is married to actor Chris O'Dowd, is best known for presenting a series of TV documentaries on subjects including dieting, dating and breast cancer.

Her book, Paper Aeroplanes, is one of 18 shortlisted in three categories for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize.

The story of two school friends , it is inspired by her teenage years growing up in Guernsey.

The prize, in its 10th year, has awards for the Best Picture Book, Best Fiction for five to 12-year-olds, and Best Book for Teens, with the three category winners competing to be named overall winner.

Dawn, who changed her name from Porter after marrying the Irish star, is nominated in the teen category alongside former model Holly Smale, whose book, Geek Girl, is about a teenage swot who swaps school for the world of fashion.

Among the writers shortlisted in the five to 12-year-old section are Brit School-educated performance poet Laura Dockrill and actress Emerald Fennell, whose roles include an appearance in Call The Midwife.

Piers Torday - son of the late Paul Torday, author of Salmon Fishing In The Yemen - is nominated in the same category.

Waterstones managing director James Daunt said: "It is with great pride that we embark on the 10th Children's Book Prize.

"Our children's departments have always been the heart of our bookshops, for there of course book lovers are made.

"In the prize we capture the passion and engagement of our booksellers as they champion emerging children's authors and illustrators. Given the success of former winners, we can be sure they have once again identified the stars of the future."

The winner will be announced at Waterstones Piccadilly in central London on April 3, with t he winners of each category getting £2,000 and the overall winner picking up another £3,000.


From Belfast Telegraph