A New Chapter: My First Weeks as Part of the Scottish Book Trust Team

Hi! I'm Geraldine and I have just started working for Scottish Book Trust as their Children's Programme Co-ordinator. I have had a great first few weeks, including attending the launch of the Scottish Children's Book Awards 2012, so I thought I would share what I've been up to so far...

I have been working at Scottish Book Trust (SBT) as Children’s Programme Co-Ordinator for just three weeks now, and I think I managed to start at the best possible time! I have already been lucky enough to help out at an illustration master class with author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers, take pictures for an Authors Live: Oliver Jeffers event for schools at BBC Scotland and go out to schools in East Lothian with children’s author Jan Fearnley and the SBT touring team. Overall it’s been a crazy few weeks, but so much fun!

Last Monday (25th June), Scottish Book Trust announced the shortlist for the Scottish Children’s Book Awards at a ceremony held in the SBT building. The nine shortlisted authors were invited, as well as various other important figures in the world of education and publishing, so I was particularly excited about this event (as well as a bit nervous since I’m the SBT newbie)!

I got given a no-trouble-for-most-people-but-terrifying-for-me first job: tick everyone’s names off a list when they arrived. This would usually be fine, as I like to think I’m quite chatty and friendly with people, but I was worried the guests (especially the authors) would expect me to know who they were already. Gulp. Luckily, everyone seemed lovely and it was a good way for me to put names to faces.

Once everyone had arrived, Children’s Programme Manager (and my manager) Chris introduced the event, and shortlist candidates were announced. There are three categories and three books shortlisted in each category, and every author (apart from Catherine MacPhail, who was down at the House of Lords) managed to be at the ceremony, which was brilliant. After the shortlist was announced, everyone mingled with one another and I was asked to round up the authors for some official photographs (cue lots more name-remembering panic!) I somehow remembered who everyone was however, and it was a great opportunity to introduce myself to eight of Scotland’s most talented writers.

The shortlist launch also marked the start of schools being able to register their pupils to vote for their favourite books in each category, and my role as Children’s Programme Co-ordinator means I will be looking after this process and making sure everything runs smoothly. Because of this, I think by the time the winners are announced early next year, I’ll be really excited about the Scottish Children’s Book Awards ceremony, which sounds like great fun (and I love any excuse to get dressed up!)

Overall, I have had a fantastic first three weeks with SBT and am very proud to be able to say I work for an organisation that does so much good work promoting reading and writing to people of all ages in Scotland.