I’m so happy to share that A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice won the first ever Eugenie Summerfield Children’s Prize.
I had entered the prize when I was based in Wiltshire and it was wonderful to see so many connections with the prize. I studied in Corsham Court as part of my MA in Writing for Young People (Bath Spa University) and Caroline and Angela Summerfield, daughters of Eugenie Summerfield told me that she too had studied at the art college that existed at Corsham Court before that.
The judges shared with me that they loved reading the imagery, colours, smells and taste of India in the story. The stories in this book are based on the folktales of India, clever trickster tales that my Grandmother told me and I was so happy that the oral storytelling tradition had seeped into the text. As a playwright herself, Caroline said that she thought it was very suitable for reading aloud.
A professional actor read out my text and a text from Eugenie Summerfield for all of us and made the text come alive. We then signed books, ate cake, drank tea. I then braved the most unreliable of all things on the evening of the World Cup win – Great Western Railways.
I want to say a big thanks to my agent Phil Perry and Abi Sparrow of SP Agency for supporting me today and everyday as I write and giving me the confidence to go to the prize ceremony despite the travel disruptions.
My project partners – Uma Krishnaswamy, the illustrator and Mara Bergman, Editor at Walker Books surely share this prize with me and were a big part of its appeal.
And finally I want to say how surprised I was to win because this book was on a shortlist with five other amazing books by wonderful friends.
A quick note for US readers: A Jar of Pickles and a Pinch of Justice along with the first book in the series A Dollop of Ghee and a Pot of Wisdom is coming to the US in January 2019. Find out more here.