The Last Viking flies high

It has been a glittering awards season for Fremantle Press. Norman Jorgensen and James Foley, the creative team behind The Last Viking, have made it to the shortlist of five awards – the most recent being a Children’s Book Council of Australia Award and an Aurealis Award for Science Fiction (alongside The Waterboys by Peter Docker).

Now James Foley’s fellow illustrators have voted him into the winning position for a 2012 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award. Foley said he was honoured by the win.

SCBWI kick-started my career. It’s very humbling to be given this award by my friends and colleagues in the industry,’ said James.

Meanwhile one CBCA award has just not been enough for Fremantle Press author Norman Jorgensen. After winning the award in 2003, Norman has again been shortlisted for the prestigious prize. Norman explained that a second award would mean a lot to him.

‘The CBC Award is important because if you win you get a really big gold medal, and my wife has been at me for years to win another so she can have a pair of earrings made,’ said Norman.

All silliness aside, Norman is thrilled to have been shortlisted for an award that has such a proud history and reputation dating back to 1946.

‘It is deeply satisfying, and there is a real sense of pride at not only being included in this same esteemed group, but also in seeing what is sometimes a simple idea being turned into wonderful pictures and then watching as the words, pictures and design all combine to make a finished book that is far greater than the original idea, and one that is appreciated by children Australia-wide,’ said Norman.

As to whether or not there will be a sequel to The Last Viking Norman said he and illustrator James had already been ‘knutting’ out a plot and were letting it ‘ferment a little to see if it improves with age and turns to honey mead, or simply festers into vinegar’.

The Last Viking and The Waterboys are available in all good bookstores or online at

The Crystal Kite Awards are given by the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators each year to recognise great books from 15 regional SCBWI divisions around the world. Along with the SCBWI Golden Kite Awards, the Crystal Kite Awards are chosen by other children’s book writers and illustrators, making them the only peer-given awards in publishing for young readers.

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