I’ve just received an email letting me know that Star Wars: Blood Ties has come 1st in the Stan Lee Excelsior Award!
“The Stan Lee Excelsior Award is an exciting new book award for graphic novels and manga – where kids aged 11-16 choose the winner by rating each book as they read it!
Eight graphic novels are selected for the shortlist and it now attracts dozens of schools and public libraries from all over the UK – from Scotland to Jersey, from Belfast to Gateshead! The overall goal of this scheme is to encourage reading amongst teenagers. However, its secondary target is to raise the profile of graphic novels and manga amongst school librarians and teachers. This storytelling medium has been a largely underused resource within education for many years. The Stan Lee Excelsior Award attempts to highlight some of the amazing books that are out there - books that fully deserve to be in our school libraries alongside regular fiction!
We work closely with both the Schools Library Association and the Stan Lee Foundation. We are thrilled that ‘Stan The Man’ has given us his blessing and his permission to name this award after him.
This year, a whopping 77 schools participated in the program.
Congratulations to Chris Scalf, Randy Stradley, Freddye Lins and Michael Heisler. This was the acceptance speech which was read out on my behalf at the awards ceremony.
“On behalf of myself, Chris Scalf and all at Dark Horse Comics, I’d like to thank you so much for this honour. Star Wars: Blood Ties is a book that Chris and I are very proud of, and we’re both very happy to see its inclusion in such a worthwhile program.
When people say they don’t read comics, I’m quite stunned. To me, it’s the same as saying ‘I don’t read books’ or ‘I don’t watch movies.’ The idea of discounting an entire story-telling medium out of ignorance seems completely backwards.
Using Graphic Novels to promote literacy is an absolute no-brainer. Providing subject matter that young people actually find engaging obviously encourages reading. And yet, there are still so many that can’t see beyond ‘cartoon pictures’ to the thought-provoking, mysterious, suspenseful, funny, romantic, inspiring or heart-wrenching stories that can be told within.
I am very pleased to be part of an award that encourages reading and especially encourages reading of graphic novels. I’d like to thank Paul Register and all of the organizers, and urge them to take this award and conquer the globe. I’d love to see this award and this program spread to every school in the world.
I should also say thanks on behalf of Boba Fett, who also couldn’t be here today. He was swallowed by a giant tentacle-pit thing in a galaxy far, far away… and that makes it a bit hard to attend an awards ceremony in Sheffield.
- Tom Taylor.”
Again, thank you to everyone who voted and participated in the award. Being chosen by so many young people across so many schools means this award is one I will truly cherish.
Writing for young people is something that brings me a lot of joy, and I’d urge all fans of my Star Wars work to check out The Deep: Here Be Dragons. It’s an award-winning all-ages adventure story which I’m also very proud of.