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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 14:46 GMT
Author wins top prize at awards
Julia Golding
Julia Golding received a cash prize of 1,000 for winning the award
An Oxford author has won the top prize at a children's book awards.

Julia Golding's debut novel - The Diamond of Drury Lane - was voted this year's winner of the Ottakar's Children's Book Prize.

Set in Covent Garden in the 1790s, the book tells the story of an orphan who becomes involved in a diamond mystery.

Ms Golding, who is married with three children, now works as a freelance writer after previously working as a diplomat and later for Oxfam.

Ms Golding said: "It's a dream debut to win the Ottakar's Book Prize with my first novel - I feel like the chorus girl suddenly chosen as leading lady!"

Winning the competition means she receives a cash prize of 1,000, and will be promoted throughout the company's bookstores.

It is the second year that Ottakar's has organised the children's book prize.

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