Events Archive 2007-2014

This is an archive of older DBA events. It uses the old website style which was changed in 2014. Please note that some of the information and links may be out of date.

Events and activities after 2014 can be found in our Events Archive.

2013-14 Events and Activities

Dance Workshop

Dance WorkshopSaturday 29th March saw almost 40 boys and girls attend a dance workshop at CAST arts venue to learn a routine to be performed at this year’s finale!

Animation Workshops

Animation WorkshopsOn Monday 24th and Tuesday 25th February, 38 children from 12 different primary and secondary schools took part in our special half term animation workshops.

Finale Event

Our Finale event will take place at CAST on Thursday 3rd April from 1 pm until 2.30 pm. Authors Chris Bradford and Jonathan Meres will be present, and the three winning books will be announced. Details of how to book places will be announced soon!

Seven Stories Visit

On Saturday 10th May 2014 we will be visiting Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, in Newcastle. Watch this space for more details soon!

Peter Pan Workshop

Peter Pan Workshop30th December 2013, CAST. A very special "Play in a Day" workshop led by the wonderful Talegate Theatre Company.

Andy McNab Author Event

7th November 2013 (p.m.), Armthorpe. Event with best-selling author Andy McNab, author of the Dropzone, Boy Soldier and Liam Scott series of action adventure books.

Launch Event

Launch Event, 9th October 20139th October 2013, CAST. Our fantastic launch event this year took on 9th October at CAST, Doncaster's new performance venue. Popular authors Daniel Blythe and Andy Briggs were there to entertain an audience of almost 600 DBA students.

Darren Shan Book Signing

Darren Shan at a DBA event in 20061st October 2013, Waterstone's. Darren Shan, a regular on the DBA longlists, visited Waterstone's in Doncaster on 1st October. Fans of his work were able to meet Darren and have copies of his books signed. Darren's gory horror thriller Zom-B is on this year's longlist.

Dave Cryer Workshops

Dave CryerOctober 2013. Dave Cryer has run a series of drama workshops for primary and secondary schools leading up to our launch on 9th October.

We have a report on Dave's workshop "Battle of the Books" held at Don Valley Academy.

Full details of all these events will be added here as they are finalised, so keep checking back. Don't forget you can also follow us on Twitter!

Winner Votes Deadline

Votes for the winner must be in by 19th March 2014. The results will be announced at the Finale on 3rd April.

Finale Event

The finale event will take place at CAST on 3rd April 2014.


Last Year's Events and Activities

Finale Event

Mad Hatter's Tea PartyOur amazing Finale event was held in the grounds of Cusworth Hall on 7th June 2013, culminating in a Mad Hatter's Tea Party!

Launch Event

Philip Ardagh at the launch eventOur fantastic launch event took place at Doncaster Civic Theatre on Friday 26 October 2012. Our special guest author was the fabulous Philip Ardagh, back by popular demand after his visit to our Finale in May 2012.

Jeremy Strong Event

Jeremy Strong with Don Valley StudentsWe were very fortunate this June to have a visit from top children’s author, Jeremy Strong. One of our local primaries, Bentley High Street, had kindly agreed to host the event, and they were joined by students from several other schools on the day, including Hexthorpe, Sunnyfields and Don Valley.

Talegate Theatre Workshops
at Cusworth Hall

The assembled cast of the drama workshopsOn Monday, 18th and Tuesday 19th February 2013, Doncaster Book Award offered two amazing 'Alice in Wonderland' workshops in the gorgeous setting of Cusworth Hall. They were led by members of the terrific Talegate Theatre Company.

Dave Cryer Creative Writing
and Drama Workshops

Dave CryerAnother fabulous FREE offer from the DBA!

As part of the celebration of this year's shortlist, the DBA is offering eight fantastic and FREE creative writing and drama workshops led by experienced writer, teacher and reading enthuser Dave Cryer. We would like to organise these as soon as possible, to encourage our young people to read and enjoy our shortlist and classics list books. If you'd like Dave to come to your school, could you please contact him by e-mail (see our Contact page) or on 07738 003368 as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, 8th February.

Don't miss out - register your interest today!

Liz Million Workshops

Liz MillionIllustrator Liz Million ran a series of workshops across Doncaster in October 2012. A great time was had by all, and we received some fantastic feedback.

Drama Workshops

Group ShotA series of joint primary/secondary drama workshops was held at Don Valley Academy on the 23rd, 26th and 27th November, with students from Owston Park, Sunnyfields, Toll Bar, Bentley High Street, Bentley New Village and Saltersgate primary schools all taking part alongside members of Don Valley's 'Pageturners' group. A great time was had by all!

Gallop Through the Long List

Chris FittOn 22nd-24th October, 7th-8th November and 12th-15th November, Chris Fitt will be offering her popular "Gallop through the long list" sessions. Unfortunately, funding does not permit us to provide these free of charge, but Chris has kindly kept her fee to a minimum, so that an hour-long session will cost only £30. Chris's enthusiasm for books and reading is infectious, and these sessions have proved very successful in past years in encouraging students to get involved.

Chris writes: “For those schools who have never experienced a Longlist Gallop before, the basic format is that I chat to your pupils about the longlisted books, with the help of a Powerpoint, and by the end most of the children have decided which book(s) they are desperate to read! Lots of fun. Approx 1 hour. 1 photocopied sheet per pupil required. Plus a cup of tea for me?”

2011-2012 Events and Activities

  • Monday 17th October 2011: Official Launch Event at the Civic Theatre, Doncaster, with author and illustrator Chris Mould.
    View Full Report and Photos
  • Tuesday 3rd January 2012: Shortlist Announced
  • September 2011: Cathy Cassidy visited schools in Doncaster. View full report and photos
  • Week Beginning 14th November 2011: Dave Cryer ran a week of half-day primary drama workshops.
  • 15th November 2011: Joint Workshop with Dave Cryer, held at Don Valley Full Report and Photos
  • Wednesday 25th January 2012, Armthorpe School: Author visit from Curtis Jobling, author of the Wereworld books. Full Report, Pupil Comments and Photos
  • Monday 30th January 2012 onwards: Dave Cryer will be running 2-hour drama workshops exploring the short list. The DBA will be funding 10 free workshops. Priority will go to schools who have never had a free workshop before, the remainder then distributed among other interested schools. If you would like one of these, contact Dave directly on davecryer(аt) The deadline for expressing an interest is Friday 27th January at noon. Dave will then contact the ten selected schools to arrange the workshop, which can be taken any time after Monday, January 30th. If you have a day/time preference please let Dave know in your initial email. For those schools who don’t get a free one, Dave will be offering a special DBA rate.
  • Friday 17th February 2012: Cusworth Hall Workshop: A workshop took place at Cusworth Hall on Friday 17th February (the Friday of half term week) from 10.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. Full Report, Pupil Comments, Photos and Newspaper Article
  • Friday 24th February 2012: Ed Miliband, Phil Sheppard and Tom Palmer at Waterstones in Doncaster. Full Report, Photos and Newspaper Article
  • Saturday 25th February 2012: Trip to Seven Stories Museum in Newcastle. Full Report, Pupil Comments and Photos
  • March 2012: DBA Takes Over Sine FM to Shout About Books. Report and Photo
  • Monday 2nd - Friday 6th April 2012: Exciting Illustration Workshops with Liz Million!
    The DBA ran a week of workshops with author and illustrator Liz Million during the first week of the Easter holidays. Full Report, Pupil Comments and Short Video
  • Monday 23rd April 2012, afternoon: Author visit from the fabulous Charlie Higson! This took place at Doncaster Racecourse. Full Report and Photos
  • Monday 30th April 2012 , 12.45 p.m. - 2 p.m.: Author visit by Marie-Louise Jensen, whose book The Lady in the Tower was on the DBA list a couple of years ago. Full Report and Photos
  • 17th May 2012: Liz Million visit. We had a return visit from the hugely popular author and illustrator Liz Million. Full Report and Photos
  • Friday 25th May 2012, 10.00 a.m. - 2.30 p.m.: Our Finale this year was a real spectacular at Doncaster Athletic Stadium. As well as the author talks, we ran an exciting "Lit's a Knockout'" competition, with lots of fun activites including a Zombie Race and "When Bunnies turn Badminton"! We also broke the world record for the longest reading relay and invited everyone present to join in by reading a line from last year's winning book, The Thornthwaite Inheritance. Full Report and Photos
  • Tuesday 10th, Wednesday 11th, Thursday 12th July 2012: Lesley's "Murder in the Library" sessions will run on these dates (two half-day sessions on each). Please contact Lesley if you wish to book a place.
  • and more...: Details of other events will be added here shortly, so please keep checking back!

2010-2011 Events and Activities

  • Friday 8th October 2010: Official Launch Event at the Civic Theatre, Doncaster. Special guest of honour was author Ali Sparkes. View full report and photos
  • Thursday 16th December 2010: Deadline for votes for the shortlist to go to Lesley Hurworth at Armthorpe. Vote count will take place on Friday 17th December.
  • Tuesday 4th January 2011: Shortlist to be announced on website.
  • Thursday 17th March 2011: Deadline for votes for the winning book. Vote count on 18th March.
  • Friday 25th March 2011: Finale Event at Doncaster Racecourse. Full Report and Photos
  • Monday 8th - Friday 12th November 2010: Week of primary half-day workshops led by Dave Cryer. Report on workshops at Don Valley, and photos
  • November 2010: Visit by Doctor Who author Daniel Blythe. Report and photos
  • Saturday 11th December 2010: Trip to Seven Stories in Newcastle
  • Monday 10th - Friday 14th January 2011: Week of shortlist workshops led by Dave Cryer.
  • Monday 21st February 2011: Special Illustration workshop (morning) and Drama workshop (afternoon) at Central Junior Library, to launch a week of events in public libraries over half term. More details to follow.
  • Saturday 5th March 2011: As part of World Book Night we are giving away 50 copies of Philip Pullman's Northern Lights at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon (5th March) at the Doncaster branch of Waterstone's. Come along to the event and see "potty poet" Gez Walsh and our very own Lollipop Man, Phil Sheppard!
  • Week beginning Monday 7th March 2011: A week of 'Murder in the Library' events organised by Lesley Hurworth. Interested schools are invited to contact Lesley for full details.

2009-2010 Events and Activities

  • Tuesday 13th October 2009: Official Launch Event at the Civic Theatre, Doncaster · Report and Photos
  • Thursday 7th January 2010: Deadline for votes for the shortlist. Vote count will take place on Friday 8th January.
  • Thursday 14th January 2010: Deadline for votes for the shortlist. Vote count will take place on Friday 15th January. (Changed from 7th/8th Jan because of adverse weather conditions)
  • Thursday 18th March 2010: Deadline for votes for the winning book. Vote count on 19th March.
  • Friday 26th March 2010: Finale Event at Doncaster Racecourse. · Report and Photos
  • 23rd-24th November 2009: Primary drama days with Dave Cryer · Report and Photos
  • Saturday 5th December 2009: Trip to Seven Stories Museum in Newcastle · Report and Photos
  • Monday 21st December 2009: Christmas workshop at Cusworth Hall Museum · Report and Photos
  • Monday 25th-Friday 29th January 2010: A week of half-day ‘Murder in the Library’ workshops · Report, Students' Work and Photos
  • Wednesday 10th February 2010: Daniel Blythe, author of Doctor Who novel Autonomy · Report and Photos
  • Friday 26th February 2010: Backing a Winner: Artwork launch at Doncaster Racecourse · Report and Photos
  • Saturday 27th February and Saturday 13th March 2010: Creative Writing Workshops, led by Dave Cryer

2008-2009 Events and Activities

  • Friday 10th October 2008: Launch event at the Civic Theatre with author Darren Shan · Report and Photos
  • 11th December 2008: Shortlist votes to be with Lesley Hurworth at Armthorpe
  • 12th December 2008: Vote count (results on website by 15th December)
  • 5th February 2009: Votes for winner to be with Lesley Hurworth at Armthorpe
  • 6th February 2009: Vote count for winner
  • 13th February 2009: Final Event at Doncaster Civic Theatre · Report and Photos
  • 10th-14th November 2008: Week of half-day drama workshops in primary and secondary schools
  • 21st November 2008, 1-2 pm: Visit to Civic Theatre by Derek Landy, winner of the 2007-08 award for Skulduggery Pleasant · Report and Photos
  • 26th and 27th November 2008: Two joint primary/secondary workshops at Don Valley · Report and Photos
  • 6th December 2008: Trip to Seven Stories in Newcastle. · Report and Photos
  • 22nd December 2008: Drama workshop at Roald Dahl exhibition (see below and Report and Photos)
  • 9th January 2009: Joint secondary workshop at Don Valley · Report and Photos
  • 12th-16th January 2009: Week of half-day drama workshops in primary and secondary schools
  • 19th January 2009, 10.30-11.30 am: Visit to Armthorpe School by Jonathan Stroud · Report and Photos
  • 26th-30th January 2009: A whole week of Murder in the Library events! We have a full report and photos on the event at Danum.
  • 2nd March 2009 WORLD BOOK DAY EVENT: Comic Art Masterclass with Kev F Sutherland · Report and Photos
  • 3rd March 2009 WORLD BOOK DAY EVENT: Illustrator's Workshop with Liz Million · Report and Photos

Our Xmas event this year was really exciting. As part of the National Year of Reading, local museum Cusworth Hall invited the Doncaster Book Award to get involved in its big Roald Dahl exhibition "Frobscottle and Snozcumbers". The exhibition runs from November 2008 to March 2009, and features fabulous original illustrations from Quentin Blake, and lots of other exciting material. We held a drama workshop there on Monday, 22nd December, 10am - 2pm, mainly based on Dahl's stories, but there was also a Christmas activity, as the Hall was decorated for the season. · Full Report and Photos · Our competition to design a poster advertising the exhibition to be displayed in the Hall itself and in participating schools has been won by Liam from Hexthorpe Primary School - Read all about it!.

We also have two illustration-based events planned. The first will probably be in Doncaster North CLC and Balby Carr CLCs on 3rd March (tbc) with a follow-up event at Cusworth Hall.

2007-2008 Events and Activities

  • Friday 5th October 2007: Launch event at the Civic Theatre with authors Celia Rees and Andrew Cope - Report and photos
  • Friday, 11th January 2008: Shortlist vote count (all votes to be with school librarians/public libraries by 10th January)
  • Monday, 14th January 2008: Shortlist announced on the website
  • Friday, 7th March 2008: Vote count for winning book
  • Friday 14th March 2008: Final event and winner announcement at the Civic Theatre - Report and Full Photo Gallery
  • Tuesday 16th October 2007: Gervase Phinn gave a hugely entertaining talk to pupils from Doncaster Schools. Report and photos
  • Friday 9th November 2007: Alan Gibbons gave a funny and informative talk at Armthorpe School. Report and photos
  • 27th and 28th November 2007: Students from Sunnyfields, Saltersgate, Bentley High Street, Toll Bar and Don Valley schools took part in two exciting days of drama activities based on some of the titles from the longlist. Report and photos
  • Saturday 8th December 2007: Christmas Event! Private screening of the film The Golden Compass based on Phillip Pullman's Northern Lights, at the Odeon Cinema.
  • 28th January - 6th February 2008: Eight days of exciting workshops took place in participating primary schools. Students had the opportunity to explore all the shortlist books through drama, and show off their acting skills!
  • Thursday 7th February 2008, Armthorpe School: Secondary Drama Day
  • Tuesday 19th February 2008, Don Valley School and Performing Arts College: Secondary Drama Day. Students from Don Valley and Ridgewood Schools came together for a day-long drama workshop based on the six short-listed titles. Report and photos
  • Wednesday 27th February 2008, afternoon: Our famous Murder in the Library was held at Armthorpe School. Report and photos
  • Friday 29th February 2008 (morning), North Doncaster Technology College: Author event with long-listed writer Kate le Vann. Report and photos
  • Wednesday 5th March 2008: Poet Andrew Fusek Peters visited Hayfield School on the morning of 5th March. Report and photos
  • Thursday 6th March 2008 (World Book Day): Popular author Helena Pielichaty visited Don Valley. Report and photos

About our Website

Designing the website

In 2004, an event was held at Doncaster North City Learning Centre where pupil representatives from several schools got together to pool their ideas on what they wanted from a website. The culmination of their ideas and designs that they put together using Dreamweaver was the first version of this site, brought together by CLC staff on the pupils' behalf. The day was a great success and everyone had a really good time.

In 2005 a searchable reviews database was added and the site was given a makeover for the second year of the award. This work was carried out by Intexta Web Services, working closely with Lyn Hopson of Don Valley School & Performing Arts College. As far as possible the pupils' original ideas from the brainstorming session were retained.

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