Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition

I was in extremely august company on Saturday:

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton, former President of the Royal Society

Yes, I was in the heart of London at the exceedingly beautiful home of the Royal Society. I’d been invited there to take part in this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition:

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My invitation came as a result of my Buzzing! book having been shortlisted for last year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

So I performed a special Buzzing! show there, inspired by a former Fellow of said Royal Society, one Charles Darwin.

My Buzzing! event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014

My Buzzing! event at the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition 2014

I had the good fortune to chat with some of my audience before and after my show, and what a lively, bright, interesting and interested bunch they were. (And how very complimentary their accompanying adults were about my show!)

After my book signing I took the opportunity to look around at some of the exhibits at the exhibition. Fascinating!

The Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition is an annual event showcasing the most exciting cutting- edge science and technology in the UK. And it’s all free! If you’re interested in science, I definitely recommend you go next year. As you’ll see from the Royal Society website, there are events specially for children, and ones for adults too.

My tip: if it’s raining, take a brolly as you might have to queue to get in – it’s that popular! (And rightly so!)

Queuing to get into the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2014

Queuing to get into the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition, July 2014

Thank you to Marie-Claude Dupuis of the Royal Society and her band of helpers for ensuring my event ran so smoothly.

Anneliese Emmans Dean – theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life

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Royal Society Award Ceremony

It’s been an exciting journey since May, when my Buzzing! book was shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize. That journey reached its climax on Monday when I made my way to the Royal Society’s beautiful home in Carlton Terrace, London, for the announcement of the prize winner. There I was reunited with the book’s publisher, Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books, and the designer, Tanya Warren of Creatix.

At the Royal Society award ceremony with publisher NIcola Loxdale of Brambleby Books and designer Tanya Warren of Creatix

At the Royal Society award ceremony with publisher Nicola Loxdale of Brambleby Books and designer Tanya Warren of Creatix

Also gathered there were the authors of the 5 other shortlisted books, plus their guests and, of course, the judges. Well, the adult judges. You’ll recall the final arbiters were around 1,000 children and young people nationwide who had been sent the 6 shortlisted books from which to choose a winner. Here’s what some of them thought of our books:

Hosting the evening was the Royal Society’s President, Sir Paul Nurse, and announcing the winner was the chair of the adult judging panel, Professor John Goodby (whose comments about Buzzing! you can read here.)

And the winner was …? Not me – unfortunately – but Rob Lloyd Jones for his wonderful book Look Inside Space. Congratulations, Rob! A worthy winner!

Winner Rob Lloyd Jones, with his trophy, surrounded by fellow authors and judges and Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society

Winner Rob Lloyd Jones with his trophy, surrounded by fellow authors and judges and Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society

This Young People’s Book Prize has been sponsored by an anonymous donor, to whom I am very grateful. All us runner-up authors received a handsome cheque, presented to us by some of the child judges, from Ellen Wilkinson school. The highlight of my evening was when a little girl from this school came up to me after the ceremony and told me that she had liked my book best. Not only that, but her friend Yu had liked mine best too!

"I liked your book the best"

“I liked your book the best”

Thank you to everyone involved in organising and judging the award. I met a whole host of fascinating people at the event on Monday, not least the very talented authors of the other shortlisted books. I commend all their books to you, and wish them all the best in their future writing endeavours.

So, off I go now to finish off my next writing endeavour …

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing Poetry to Life

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize

Royal Society Young People's Book Prize logo 2013Who says you have to choose between the sciences and the arts?

When I was at school I did maths and arts A levels. At Cambridge University I started off studying in the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and ended up in the Department of Engineering. I enjoyed analysing a poem just as much as I enjoyed doing spectrographic analyses of speech signals. And so when it came to creating my  Buzzing! book, it was entirely natural to me to mix science and amusing poetry, entomology and etymology, to create a colourful, fizzing, ‘edu-taining’ experience.

I was thrilled to discover yesterday that the Royal Society, that august scientific body founded over 350 years ago, recognised what I set out to do by shortlisting Buzzing! for this year’s Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize.

Royal Society web page showing Young People's Book Prize shorlisted books

I was particularly pleased about this as I had had a hard job convincing publishers that mixing science and poetry was a good idea. But in the end I was very lucky to find Brambleby Books, who immediately  ‘got’ what I wanted to do, and who went on to produce the handsome tome that is Buzzing!

The Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize is a prestigious prize that ‘celebrates the best English-language books that communicate science to young people up to the age of fourteen’.

Buzzing! was one of six books shortlisted for the Prize by a judging panel that consisted of five eminent scientists, science communicators and educationalists. They described my book as being:

Buzzing! by Anneliese Emmans Dean, nominated for the 2013 Carnegie Medal

Buzzing! by Anneliese Emmans Dean

‘buzzing with interesting science facts and wonderful poetry. Each page features a different British minibeast that you might find in your back garden, with a funny poem about them.’

The Chair of the panel was Professor John Goodby FRS, who said:

‘This year’s books have shown how science can become the subject of beautiful poems, be the object of wonderful works of art, and all the time stretching minds, young and old, into the “realms of imagination” and down-to-earth “model building” … Our eclectic collection of books have been truly enthralling, and our decisions on six candidates for “book of the year” have been incredibly difficult.’

Copies of all six shortlisted books are now being sent out to groups of young people up and down the country. It is they who will be the final judges. The book they choose as the winner will be announced on 11 November …

Fingers crossed!

Meanwhile, you can find out more about Buzzing! here, order your signed copy here and see where you can catch a live Buzzing! show here.

STOP PRESS: Find out how the award ceremony went and who won here!

Anneliese Emmans Deanwww.theBigBuzz.biz – Bringing poetry to life