We were very excited to hear that OV Catherine Randall (née Taylor Co 81-83) has been shortlisted for the Historical Association (HA) Young Quills Award 2021 for her debut novel, The White Phoenix.
Set in a London bookshop in 1666, the year the Great Fire of London devastated the city, The White Phoenix is a children’s historical novel featuring prejudice, fire, friendship, and a determined heroine.
Catherine commented, “I was absolutely bowled over to be included on the shortlist for the Historical Association Young Quills Award 2021 for my debut novel.
“This is a competition held annually to recognise good historical fiction writing for young people and to encourage youngsters to develop a love of history and a feel for the period they are studying. The wonderful thing about The Young Quills is that it’s the readers – young people – who decide the shortlist. Their reviews are published on the HA website and it’s been so lovely to read the feedback from readers.
“I was particularly thrilled to be on the shortlist because of the quality of the other writers on the list, which includes authors such as Tom Palmer and Paul Dowswell, whom I really admire. The winner will be announced later in the autumn. In normal times, this would be at an awards evening, so I’m just hoping that COVID doesn’t make this into a virtual event!
“This shortlisting is also very special to me personally because my mother was a history teacher and a longstanding member of the Historical Association. She died last year (though luckily not until she had read The White Phoenix multiple times!) but I know that she would have been absolutely thrilled.”
The White Phoenix by Catherine Randall is an historical novel for 9-13 year olds. Published by The Book Guild, it is available in bookshops and online.
Many congratulations Catherine, and we look forward to hearing what happens at the Awards!