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Be not Disheartened

For those jaded by piles of rejection letters, be inspired by Jason Wallace, recipient of this year’s Costa Children’s Book Award for his book, Out of Shadows. Combining writing with a full-time job as a web designer, Jason’s writing is influenced by his personal experiences. Following his parent’s divorce, at the age of 12 his life was further disrupted when his mother re-married and moved the family from London to Zimbabwe, which was then in the early stages of recovery after the war of indendence.  Admission into a tough boarding school followed.

The judges described their decision as unanimous, adding, ‘This compelling portrayal of a nation in crisis gripped us from start to finish and has stayed with us since.’

Praise indeed, all the more remarkable to think that not only was this Jason’s debut novel, but that his work had been rejected by 100 publishers before he secured that elusive deal.   

There is everything to play for.

Other category award winners included Costa Novel, Maggie O’Farrell (a particular favourite of mine) for The Hand that First Held Mine;   Costa First Novel Award, Kishwar Desai for Witness the Night; Costa Biograpy Award, Edmund de Waal for The Hare with Amber Eyes. The Costa Book of the Year will be announced later this month.