Author Kim Slater’s debut novel in line for two major awards

SMART WORK -- author Kim pictured with her debut book, 'Smart', at Waterstones in Nottingham.
SMART WORK -- author Kim pictured with her debut book, 'Smart', at Waterstones in Nottingham.

The debut novel by an author who hails from Kirkby has been nominated for two prestigious awards.

It’s the stuff of fairytales for mum Kim Slater, who only took up professional writing after deciding to go to university at the age of 40.

She developed the idea for the novel, ‘Smart’ during her studies. And although it started off as just a short-story assignment, it developed into a full-length fiction-book for young adults, which has been highly acclaimed.

Now ‘Smart’ has been longlisted for the Carnegie Medal, the most coveted children’s book award in the country, and shortlisted for the national Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.

“This is such exciting news!” beamed 48-year-old Kim, who is also a self-employed school bursar. “I am over the moon!”

‘Smart’, published by Macmillan, is set in Nottingham, and includes areas such as Mansfield, Newstead Abbey and Mansfield.

It the story of a 14-year-old boy who is convinced he’s stumbled across a murder after finding the body of a homeless man in the River Trent.

Kim now lives by the Trent herself, in an apartment at Colwick. But she lived in Kirkby for 37 years.

Her second book is in the pipleine and, to add to all the excitement, Kim is to marry her partner, Mac Woodhams (59), in June.

She has also just been appointed writer-in-residence for Nottingham’s L.E.A.D. (Lead Empower Achieve Drive) Academy Trust, which means she will be running creative-writing groups with schoolchildren throughout Nottinghamshire, raising aspiration and confidence among young people.

WORDSMITH Kim Slater made headlines for very different reasons as a teenager. For she strutted her stuff as a successful beauty queen!

Kim was crowned Miss Sherwood Forest in 1985 and was even pictured on the front page of the Chad. She won the Miss Nottingham title too. However, she’d always been fond of reading and writing. So, after her daughter Francesca had grown up, she decided to pursue her dreams and took an English and creative writing degree at Nottingham Trent University, followed by an MA in creative writing. The rest, as they say, is history!