Hemel creators win big at Waterstones awards

Two authors from Hemel take home prizes at national book awards

By Olivia Preston
Monday, 4th April 2022, 12:25 pm

Hannah Gold and Harry Woodgate, both from Hemel Hempstead, won awards at The Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2022 on Thursday (March 31).

The ceremony, held at Waterstones flagship bookshop in London, saw Hannah and Harry crowned as winners at the 18th annual awards.

Hannah, originally from Tring, won the Younger Readers and Children’s Book of the Year awards and £5,000 for her book, The Last Bear.

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Winners of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2022.

The adventure story, which Hannah says is the “book of her heart”, revolves around an Artic researcher’s daughter who encounters a lone polar bear.

Hannah said the book is a chance to inspire children with the message that “no-one is too small or insignificant to make a difference about the things they truly care about.”

Harry, an author and illustrator, won the Illustrated Book award for their children’s book, Grandad's Camper, a story with a powerful message of inclusion and celebrating love in all its forms.

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Hannah Gold with her award-winning book, The Last Bear.

Harry’s picture book follows a grandad recapturing the adventures of his youth as he tells his granddaughter about the times he used to have with Gramps.

Harry said: “The idea for Grandad's Camper developed from my university research into LGBTQ+ representation in illustrated children's literature.”

They added: “Most of all, it was inspired by the hope that different kinds of rainbow families would be able to see themselves represented in a book, and that even through loss there can still be joy, and celebration, and renewal.”

The winners have received the promise of ongoing commitment from Waterstones to their writing careers.

Harry (right) and their award-winning book, Grandpa's Camper.