Bedford author and illustrator make shortlist for book prize

It's in the running for £10,000 award

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 11:33 am
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 11:34 am

Bedford illustrator and author David Litchfield and Smriti Halls have been shortlisted in the Oscar's Book Prize 2021 for their book Rain Before Rainbows.

It's one of six books in the running for the £10,000 award and the shortlist was chosen by a judging panel including TV presenters Lorraine Kelly and Angellica Bell, renowned children’s illustrator Axel Scheffler, and Simon Johnson, Amazon director of EU Books.

Oscar’s Book Prize co-founder Viveka Alvestrand, who set up the literary award in memory of her son, completes the line-up.

Rain Before Rainbows by David Litchfield and Smriti Halls, bottom left, is one of the books shortlisted
Rain Before Rainbows by David Litchfield and Smriti Halls, bottom left, is one of the books shortlisted

Now in its eighth year, submissions were of such a high quality this year that the judging panel recognised six rather than the usual five books.

Viveka Alvestrand said of Rain Before Rainbows: “Every spread in this book provides its own fairytale, which complements the feeling of hope that radiates from every page. I loved it.”

Speaking about her role on the judging panel, Lorraine Kelly said: “I loved having the opportunity to read these stories, they really are an amazing set of books and all of them are winners in my eyes. It’s so important to read with our children and think these books are perfect to get them involved and unlock the magic of storytelling.”

The winner will be announced by the award’s patron, HRH Princess Beatrice, in a livestreamed virtual ceremony on Tuesday, May 11. For more on the six shortlisted stories, visit the Oscar's Book Prize website.