Epic has been shortlisted for the Lancashire County Library Children's Book of the Year. In response Conor Kostick wrote this letter:
To everyone, young and not-so-young, involved with the Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year. Thank you for the card and the heartwarming news that I have been shortlisted for the 2006 Lancashire Children’s Book of the Year. I am flattered to be associated with the very fine writers who have, over the years, also been shortlisted for the award. The fact that the judges who chose Epic for the shortlist are young gives the award its distinct flavour and, I’m sure, makes writers particularly pleased to have earned their approval. From my own part, I find that when I meet young readers I am more anxious to learn from the feedback provided by their comments than those of adults. I came relatively late to reading, but when I did it was with a hunger for books and a fervour that saw me read though my school library collection and much of the children’s collection of my local library. In those times I would have been delighted to have been asked to nominate my favourites. I am sure that Lancashire’s schools generally have a much greater engagement with writing for children as a result of the conversations that participation in the award must generate. I am impressed by the amount of new reading that the judges take upon themselves. My own favourites when I was around twelve years old were Stig of the Dump by Peter Tabern; anything by Henry Treece; The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin and Carol Kendall’s The Minnipins. If Epic is bringing to the current generation of young readers even half the pleasure and stimulation of the imagination that these books gave to me, I shall be immensely satisfied. I look forward to the award ceremony on the 24 June, which I will be able to attend.As this prize is voted for by kids it is a good one to win. Year nine classes from each of the twelve districts in Lancashire are the judges for the competition. The final judging panel includes a representative from each of the twelve schools involved.