AUTHOR Martyn Bedford has won a fifth literary prize for his teenage novel, Twenty Questions for Gloria.
Beating competition from seven other authors, Bedford won the award for best book for young adult readers aged over 13 at the Coventry Inspiration Book Awards.
Shortlisted by a panel of specialist children’s librarians and teachers, the books were then shared with hundreds of children in Coventry who voted for their favourites.
Bedford, who is a senior lecturer in creative writing at Leeds Trinity University, in Horsforth, said: "I’m delighted to win this award and to know that so many teenagers all over Coventry have read my novel – and liked it enough to vote for it. Awards of this kind are a great way to promote reading in schools and to introduce a generation of teenagers to books and writers they might not otherwise have discovered."
Twenty Questions for Gloria is the story of a bored and restless 15-year-old girl enthralled by Uman; a mysterious, exotic new boy who strolls into her classroom one morning, bent on breaking all the rules. When he whisks her away from the life she loathes and into a more daring, exciting one, she jumps at the chance of an adventure. But Uman is not all he seems. By the time she learns the truth, she is a long way from home, and the whole country wants to know: 'Where’s Gloria'?
Cassandra Kemp, Assistant Librarian at Coventry Schools Library Service, said: "Twenty Questions for Gloria has been a resounding success with the teenager of Coventry no doubt due to the vivid, relatable characters Martyn has created, but also thanks to the artistry of this complex and thrilling plot."
Bedford, who has written three novels for young adults and five for adults in a career spanning more than 20 years, will receive his award in June.