Events > Finale Event

Poetry, Pictures and Phillip Ardagh - DBA's Fabulous Finale!

4 April 2017 View Event Photos

Once again the Doncaster Book Award smashed it, with a truly exceptional event to bring this year’s award to a close.

This April, the committee welcomed 800 children and their teachers to the Doncaster Dome for a fun day which celebrated the joy of books and reading and showcased the talent of our young people. Our guests included the wonderful performance poet Joshua Seigal, the illustrator (and budding comedienne!) Liz Million, and the very funny and famously bearded author Philip Ardagh.

Our classics theme this year was poetry, and the day began with a Poetry Slam which celebrated the joy of language and gave lots of our young people the chance to showcase their talent. Hosted by James from Talegate, the energy level was sky-high from the outset, and did not flag once throughout the event. Liz Million was first up, for an illustration workshop with a difference. Drawing live on stage, and providing her own really funny running commentary throughout, Liz demonstrated her skill at interpreting and bringing to life an author’s ideas in pictures, while also giving her audience lots of useful tips on creating and drawing characters.

Next up on stage was Joshua Seigal with a brilliant performance which in no time at all had the audience hooked. They happily shouted out responses, shook their rattles and stamped their feet as he performed poems such as ‘Just a Book’ and ‘I’m Addicted to Chicken’.  Seeing and hearing hundreds of children (and adults!) making chicken noises and shouting out ‘I’m addicted to chicken’ is something not easily forgotten! Then it was time for groups of children from participating schools to bravely take to the stage and showcase their poems, to the noisy and extremely enthusiastic crowd. Their performances showed how hard they had been working and the result was most definitely worth it. Joshua had to pick two groups as joint winners, one from Saltersgate Juniors and the other The Healing School as the result was too close to call.

After a short break for lunch, James was back on stage to kick off afternoon’s proceedings.  Liz Million once again took to the stage for another brilliant turn, before handing over to guest author Philip Ardagh. Philip very quickly had his audience in stitches as he spoke about his difficult childhood and the unspeakable horrors of being forced to wear his big brother’s second-hand pants! This, he said, so traumatised him that he decided to make sure he got so big that they would no longer fit him, and it seemed that perhaps more than a few of the children, by now hanging on his every word, thought this was why he is now two metres tall….!  Philip also spoke of his time at boarding school and the boring letters he used to receive from his mother, letters which made him determine, when he was later writing letters in turn to his nephew, to invent stories to make them interesting and funny, surely an unusual start to a career as a fiction writer. 

Next it was the turn of Paul from Waterstones, who presented the awards for best primary and secondary reviews, and our two poetry slam winners, unfazed by the now even larger afternoon audience, reprised their performances and received their prizes. Finally it was time for Lesley to announce the results of the voting and to declare the winners: The Bolds by Julian Clary in the Primary category, Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes in the Classics category and Amy Alward’s The Potion Diaries as the secondary category winner. All of these were very popular winners with the audience.

Lesley concluded by thanking Joshua, Liz and Philip, invited guests and dignitaries for coming along and on behalf of the committee gave an especial thank you to all our young people for their participation in reading, reviewing and voting for the books, and joining in our many events so enthusiastically. At this point, the formal part of the event was over.  However, thanks to the generous loan by DFS of a truly epic red sofa, the fun continued for some time in the foyer. The sofa was a huge hit, and not only with the younger guests!  Before heading home, each school group posed on or around it in turn, alongside the Civic Mayor, Liz and Phillip. However, in addition, throughout the day all the Committee, our lovely volunteers from DWP who had kindly helped with marshalling and seating the audience, Spellbound Chronicles authors Suzanne and Eve Maguire, Waterstones staff, Dome staff and even members of the public were photographed sitting or lying on it!

As always the Finale was exciting, entertaining and really celebrated the joy of reading. Once the exhaustion has worn off, the committee will be once more raring to go and ready to plan for next year!

Lyn Hopson

Secretary, Doncaster Book Award

Photos from the Event

The SJS squad proud to be joint slam poet winners, alongside Healing Academy's Emily, Eleanor and AbigaleThe SJS squad proud to be joint slam poet winners, alongside Healing Academy's Emily, Eleanor and Abigale Windhill Primary meet and greetWindhill Primary meet and greet Liz Million... so good we made her go on twice!Liz Million... so good we made her go on twice! Joshua Seigal with assorted entourage, aka committee and Waterstone'sJoshua Seigal with assorted entourage, aka committee and Waterstone's Community 10000 volunteersCommunity 10000 volunteers Slam Poets set 3 - Armthorpe AcademySlam Poets set 3 - Armthorpe Academy Healing Academy Grimsby meet and greetHealing Academy Grimsby meet and greet Slam Poets set 1 - Armthorpe AcademySlam Poets set 1 - Armthorpe Academy Slam Poets Alexia, Ellie and Grace from Town Field PrimarySlam Poets Alexia, Ellie and Grace from Town Field Primary Slam Poets set 4 - Armthorpe AcademySlam Poets set 4 - Armthorpe Academy They have the common touch, don't you know...They have the common touch, don't you know... Rossington All Saints meet and greetRossington All Saints meet and greet Slam Poets set 2 - Armthorpe AcademySlam Poets set 2 - Armthorpe Academy Liz Million in action in the morningLiz Million in action in the morning Sir Thomas Wharton Community College meet and greetSir Thomas Wharton Community College meet and greet Joshua Seigal poetting in the morningJoshua Seigal poetting in the morning Morley Place Academy meet and greetMorley Place Academy meet and greet Joshua Seigal poetting in the morningJoshua Seigal poetting in the morning Thorne Green Top Primary meet and greetThorne Green Top Primary meet and greet Philip Ardagh relieved to find a sofa big enough for himPhilip Ardagh relieved to find a sofa big enough for him DBA's Two Lyn(ne)s check out the sofa lent to us by DFS for the FinaleDBA's Two Lyn(ne)s check out the sofa lent to us by DFS for the Finale Ever-energetic James starts the afternoon's proceedingsEver-energetic James starts the afternoon's proceedings Town Field Primary meet and greetTown Field Primary meet and greet Ridgewood School meet and greetRidgewood School meet and greet Showsec support great as everShowsec support great as ever Home Education Community meet and greetHome Education Community meet and greet Mexborough Academy meet and greetMexborough Academy meet and greet The auditorium starts to fillThe auditorium starts to fill Slam Poets set 5 - Armthorpe AcademySlam Poets set 5 - Armthorpe Academy Community Volunteers meet Liz MillionCommunity Volunteers meet Liz Million Slam Poets Keisha, Davina and Lucy from Town Field PrimarySlam Poets Keisha, Davina and Lucy from Town Field Primary DBA chair Lesley Hurworth and Waterstones' Paul announce the book review prizes and the DBA winning authorsDBA chair Lesley Hurworth and Waterstones' Paul announce the book review prizes and the DBA winning authors Joshua Seigal poetting in the morningJoshua Seigal poetting in the morning Philip Ardagh invoking much beard envy in everyonePhilip Ardagh invoking much beard envy in everyone Time for a bit of signing!Time for a bit of signing! Our main event: Philip ArdaghOur main event: Philip Ardagh Liz and Phil, our own royalty, greeting the minionsLiz and Phil, our own royalty, greeting the minions Slam Poet Emily from Healing AcademySlam Poet Emily from Healing Academy Bentley High Street Primary meet and greetBentley High Street Primary meet and greet Saltersgate Juniors meet and greetSaltersgate Juniors meet and greet DBA's Schools' and Home Educators' coordinator attempting to organise lunch breakDBA's Schools' and Home Educators' coordinator attempting to organise lunch break Slam Poets Emily, Eleanor and Abigale from Healing AcademySlam Poets Emily, Eleanor and Abigale from Healing Academy Liz Million, Philip Ardagh, Doncaster Civic Mayor David Nevett and DFS's Claire Tattersall and Maddie GodfreyLiz Million, Philip Ardagh, Doncaster Civic Mayor David Nevett and DFS's Claire Tattersall and Maddie Godfrey Almost There!Almost There! Collapse Time! Philip Ardagh and Doncaster Public Library staffCollapse Time! Philip Ardagh and Doncaster Public Library staff Brooke Marshland Federation meet and greetBrooke Marshland Federation meet and greet Philip Ardagh relaxing with a book prior to the afternoonPhilip Ardagh relaxing with a book prior to the afternoon The SJS squad from Saltersgate JuniorsThe SJS squad from Saltersgate Juniors Liz Million in action in the morningLiz Million in action in the morning Community 10000 volunteers meet Philip ArdaghCommunity 10000 volunteers meet Philip Ardagh Liz Million in action in the morningLiz Million in action in the morning Thanks for the sofa, DFS!Thanks for the sofa, DFS! Pheasant Bank Academy meet and greetPheasant Bank Academy meet and greet Our fabulous compere James Worthington of Talegate TheatreOur fabulous compere James Worthington of Talegate Theatre
 

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