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09 July 2020

John Young wins Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2019

27 February 2019

John Young, author of Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist, has been named winner of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2019. Now in its third year, the award was set up to celebrate the most popular teen books by authors in Scotland. The Scottish Teenage Book Prize is run by Scottish Book Trust, the national charity transforming lives through reading and writing, and is supported by Creative Scotland. Young people in schools and libraries across Scotland voted for their favourite title.

Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist (Kelpies Edge) tells the story of terminally ill Connor Lambert, who sets off on a crazy tour across Scotland dodging the police, joy riding and looking for answers. The story beings in Stornoway, and the novel explores friendship, identity and morality, with a dose of good humour. Farewell Tour of a Terminal Optimist combines the authenticity of John Green with the energy of Irvine Welsh.

John, originally from Belfast, began to write his debut novel when his daughter was receiving chemotherapy. Verity passed away in 2009, and since then John has found solace in writing and cycling. In 2013, he received a New Writers Award from Scottish Book Trust. John also helped his wife establish a children's charity called The Teapot Trust, based in Musselburgh, which provides art therapy to children in hospital who are suffering from Lupus and related conditions.

As part of his prize, John will receive £3,000 whilst the shortlisted authors, S.M Wilson for The Extinction Trials and Kerr Thomson for The Rise of Wolves, will receive £500 each. The winner of the Scottish Teenage Book Prize 2019 was revealed at North Berwick High School's library, through a special announcement film, including an acceptance speech from John Young.

For more on this story, see the Scottish Book Trust website.