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New Horizons Book Award and associated creative and art competitions 2016

New Horizons, run by the Dorset Public and School Library services, aims to encourage young people to explore some of the best fiction by exciting new authors.

This biennial award promotes the work of recently published, debut authors for 9 - 13 year olds and features creative writing and art competitions. The aim of the award is to motivate young people to move away from tried and tested authors and try something new.

The winners of the book award and competitions were announced at a celebratory event held at Allenbourn Middle School on 25 June 2016, attended by pupils from local schools, including those shortlisted for the creative writing and art competitions.

The event was hosted by performance poet Joseph Selby. Authors Elen Caldecott and David Solomons and illustrator Ella Burfoot talked about how they transform their ideas into the published item and gave the young people useful tips for creating their own stories and art work.

This book award is sponsored by Micro Librarian Systems.

Book Award

This is awarded to the best debut novel for 9 - 13 year olds published in the UK between January 2014 and July 2015. The shortlist and winner are chosen by young people from schools across Dorset.


  • Circus Mirandus - Cassie Beasley
  • Us Minus Mum - Heather Butler
  • Boy in the Tower - Polly Ho-Yen
  • The Accidental Prime Minister - Tom McLaughlin
  • Smart - Kim Slater
  • My Brother is a Superhero - David Solomons


  • Smart - Kim Slater

Writing Competition

Entries were invited for stories up to 500 words in two categories Years 5 and 6 and Years 7 and 8, with the winners being chosen by the 2014 New Horizons winning author Jackie Marchant.

Years 5 and 6

Shortlisted stories were written by young people from Knighton House School, Mudeford Junior School, Spetisbury Primary School, St Andrew's Primary, Yetminster, St Nicholas & St Laurence Primary Weymouth, and Talbot House Prep School

The winners came from Spetisbury Primary (1st), Talbot House Prep. and Knighton House (joint 2nd), and Knighton House (3rd)

Years 7 and 8

Shortlisted stories were written by young people from Allenbourn Middle School and St Aldhelm's Academy.

1st, 2nd and joint 3rd places were awarded to pupils from Allenbourn Middle School.

Art Competition

Entries were invited for alternative designs for covers for the short listed Book Award titles.

Commendations were awarded to 2 pupils from both Spetisbury Primary School and Clayesmore Prep School.




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