Horsham publisher celebrates awards success
A Horsham-based publisher is celebrating after one of its debut authors fought off some of the biggest names in children’s books to land a prestigious award.
Maverick Publishing’s Pirates vs Monsters scooped the Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book Award from a shortlist featuring Julia Donaldson’s The Hospital Dog and Rob Biddulph’s Dog Gone.
The book, by first-time author David Crosby and illustrator Lee Cosgrove, was crowned winner at a virtual ceremony – quite a coup for Maverick, which was founded in 2009 by former photographer Steve Bicknell.
“This one of the biggest and best children’s book awards out there,” Steve said.
“I mean, a book called Oi Frog won it in 2016 and that’s gone on to be a phenomenon of a series selling more than a million copies.
“At Maverick we’ve built a reputation for identifying and nurturing new talent over the years and we couldn’t be more thrilled for everyone involved. It’s wonderful when this kind of recognition comes along.
“Publishing an award-winning book takes a massive team effort and this achievement is even more special when succeeding against eight very strong shortlisted books from some of the biggest names in the business.”
Managing editor Kimara Nye added: “We knew we had something special on our hands from the moment we received David’s text, which had us laughing and surprised us with its twist ending. Combining it with Lee’s eerie and atmospheric illustrations has been a winning formula.
“I am so pleased for David and Lee and had so much fun working with both of them on this book.”
Voting for the award is usually restricted to primary schools in Bishop’s Stortford but due to the pandemic, organisers opened it up nationwide.
Pirates vs Monsters is a comic tale of three pirates down the pub bragging about the ingenious methods they’ve used to get the better of three fearsome monsters.
The grog is flowing and it gradually becomes clear they may not be being entirely honest.
David Crosby is based in Sunderland, and Lee Cosgrove in Cheshire.
Maverick are now gearing up to publish David’s second book, Which Nose for Witch?, which is illustrated by Carolina Coroa and due for release in September this year.
Pirates vs. Monsters is out now priced £7.99 in paperback from the Waterstones website and all the usual places.
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The shortlisted books for the 2021 Bishop’s Stortford Picture Book Award in full were:
• Bear Shaped by Dawn Coulter-Cruttenden
• Dog Gone by Rob Biddulph
• Don’t Call Me Grumpycorn by Sarah McIntyre
• Inch and Grub: A Story About Cavemen by Alastair Chisholm and David Roberts
• Llama Glamarama by Simon James Green and Garry Parsons
• Meesha Makes Friends by Tom Percival
• Pirates vs. Monsters by David Crosby and Lee Cosgrove
• The Day the Banana Went Bad by Michelle Robinson and Tom Knight
• The Hospital Dog by Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie
More details about the company on maverickbooks.co.uk