Chichester author in line for top award

Simon Philip
Simon Philip
Share this article

Chichester writer Simon Philip has been shortlisted for this year’s Waterstones Children’s Book Prize for his book I Really Want The Cake

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Waterstones Piccadilly in central London on March 22. Last year’s winner The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave saw a sales uplift of 1,400 per cent after her victory was announced.

Six books are shortlisted in each of three categories: Illustrated Books, Younger Fiction and Older Fiction. Each category winner receives £2,000 and the overall winner is awarded an additional £3,000.

Simon said:“I was excited, delighted and honoured to discover that Lucia and I were shortlisted, especially so given the award is bookseller-voted and my local branch of Waterstones has been so supportive of my books. Hopefully this nomination will help raise awareness of an important issue that’s close to my heart - uncontrollable cravings for cake!”

Simon lives in Chichester, where he was born and raised. After graduating from Exeter University he became a primary school teacher. Teaching rekindled his love of children’s literature, particularly picture books, so much so that he decided to try writing his own. In I Really Want The Cake he tells the story of a mischievous little girl with a sweet tooth, the book illustrated throughout by Lucia Gaggiotti.

Oliver Browning, bookshop manager at Waterstones Chichester, said: “Like the deliciously-illustrated cake in the book, Simon Philips’ brilliantly-inventive, witty rhymes have proved irresistible with booksellers and Chichester’s youngest customers alike. I Really Want The Cake really was our standout and most talked about picture book of last year, the story of temptation and chocolate cake unsurprisingly resonating with a lot of children (and booksellers!). Simon was also kind enough to come along to do a reading and I’ve not seen our children’s department so packed before or since.”