The hardback covers of The Train to Impossible Places and The Great Brain Robbery side by side

Visit the Impossible Places for just £1.99!

Visit the Impossible Places for just £1.99! 1500 889 Peter Bell

Thanks to the good folk at Usborne Publishing, readers in the UK can pick up the first two Train to Impossible Places Adventures for just £1.99 each on Kindle.

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The caption reads "Join the Kids of 2020 Letter Writing Project", beside the covers of the three books in the Train to Impossible Places Adventures

Kids of 2020 – write a letter to the future

Kids of 2020 – write a letter to the future 680 338 Peter Bell

I’ve joined forces with the National Literacy Trust, The Postal Museum and Usborne Publishing to launch an exciting new letter writing project, inviting children to share their experiences of the Coronavirus pandemic with future generations.

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A copy of the UK edition of Delivery to the Lost City, sitting on top of a pile of envelopes on some wooden boards

Delivery to the Lost City – out now!

Delivery to the Lost City – out now! 2560 2560 Peter Bell

Delivery to the Lost City, the third and final Train to Impossible Places Adventure, was released in the UK this week, and I’m really excited by the reception it’s been getting.


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AWARDS UPDATE 1500 844 88admin
Sorry it’s been such a while since the last blog post, but there’s been lots going on in the world of The Train To Impossible Places, including some very exciting awards news…First up, I’m thrilled to have made the shortlist of the Branford Boase Award, which recognises not only debut authors, but their editors as well. I’m very fortunate to have two truly wonderful editors at Usborne, in the shape of Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker, who are nominated twice this year – once with me, and again with my fellow Usborne author Sophie Anderson for her book The House With Chicken Legs. (If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out!) Rebecca and Becky shared last year’s award with Mitch Johnson, for his novel Kick. Needless to say, Sophie and I are both hoping we can make it two years in a row for them.In fact, Usborne have a record-breaking four books on this year’s shortlist, and I’m already looking forward to catching up with Matt Killeen (Orphan, Monster, Spy) and Mel Darbon (Rosie Loves Jack) at the awards ceremony in London in June. Whatever the result, it promises to be quite a party! Click here to see the full shortlist.
Cover of The Train To Impossible Places as a Children's Category Finalist in the 2019 Independent Bookshop Week Awards

Cover of The Train To Impossible Places as a Children’s Category Finalist in the 2019 Independent Bookshop Week Awards

I’m also very excited to see Train on the shortlist for this year’s Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) Award. Run by the Booksellers Association, IBW celebrates indie bookshops across the UK and Ireland, and runs from 15th – 22nd June 2019. I’m particularly chuffed by this nomination as independent bookshops have been instrumental in Train‘s success right from the start, and I’ve met a host of really dedicated and enthusiastic indie booksellers over the past year. My heartfelt thanks to all of them who put Train forward for this year’s shortlist. Click here to see the full list.I’d also like to thank all the staff of Stockport libraries who nominated Train for this year’s Stockport Children’s Book Awards. School children across the town have been reading their way through the nominees (including The House With Chicken Legs) and have cast their votes. The winner will be announced on 11th July. The full Junior Reader category shortlist can be found here.
Logo of the Bristol Crimefest 2019Finally, some news of past awards. I was very surprised, but thoroughly delighted, to be nominated for this year’s Bristol Crimefest award in April. I’d never considered Train to be a crime novel, but Crimefest’s reviewers not only put it through to the shortlist, but invited me to take part in the festival itself. Sadly, personal commitments meant I wasn’t able to attend but it was a great privilege to be considered, and congratulations go to Lauren St. John, who won the children’s category with her novel Kat Wolfe Investigates. (I’m already crossing my fingers for next year’s award, when my next book, The Great Brain Robbery will be out. As the title suggests, it’s quite crime-centric!)

The shortlisted authors and illustrators at the Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2019
All the shortlisted authors and illustrators at the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2019 (photo by Izzy Romilly)

Last of all, and as I’m sure many of you are already aware, the winner of Waterstones Children’s Book Prize was announced on 21st March. Onjali Rauf scooped the prize for her book The Boy At The Back of the Class, and even though neither Train nor The House With Chicken Legs won, it was a tremendous pleasure to be shortlisted. The whole evening was a fantastic experience in wonderful company, and I’m very grateful to the Waterstones booksellers who put Train forward for the award. So congratulations to Onjali on a well-deserved win, and here’s to all my fellow nominees. We had a blast, and you can read more about the category winners, and see a few more photos from the event, here.

The window display at Waterstones Picadilly, March 2019, featuring the shortlisted books
The Waterstones Picadilly window display, March 2019


left to right, editors Becky Walker, Rebecca Hill, author P.G. Bell, agent Gemma Cooper and designer Katharine Millichope at the Waterstones Children's Book Prize ceremony
From l-r, editors Becky Walker and Rebecca Hill, me, my agent Gemma Cooper and Usborne cover designer Katharine Millichope


Onjali Rauf accepts her prize for "The Boy At The Back Of The Class"
Onjali Rauf accepts her prize for “The Boy at the Back of the Class”


After a relatively peaceful Christmas, 2019 has started with an absolute whirlwind of activity. I’ve been racing to meet deadlines for book 2, preparing for my first ever school events (more on both those things in future posts) and – the biggest news of all – this week The Train To Impossible Places made the shortlist for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize.For anyone not familiar with Waterstones, it’s the UK’s biggest chain of bookshops (sort of our equivalent of Barnes & Noble), and their annual Children’s Book Prize is a Very Big Deal indeed.Titles are nominated by the stores’ booksellers, and I feel tremendously honoured that they’ve put The Train To Impossible Places forward. It’s a very strong shortlist, which includes The House With Chicken Legs (probably my favourite book of 2018), by my follow Usborne writer Sophie Anderson. The winners will be announced on Thursday 21st March, so watch this space.You can find a complete rundown of all the shortlisted titles here, and Waterstones are offering them all in a “Buy One, Get One Half Price” offer. I’ll be popping into as many branches as I can reach between now and the end of March to sign copies. I’ve already made it to Birmingham and Cardiff, but keep an eye on my Twitter profile for more as and when they happen.

Author P.G. Bell stands in front of a bookshelf displaying shortlisted titles for this year's Waterstones Children's Book Prize
I popped into Waterstones Birmingham to sign a load of copies this week

As if that weren’t good enough, Sophie and I have both made the longlist of this year’s Branford Boase award. The award jointly celebrates debut authors and their editors and, by a happy coincidence, Sophie and I are both edited by the wonderful duo of Rebecca Hill and Becky Walker. Rebecca and Becky won the award last year, along with author Mitch Johnson, for his novel Kick. Sophie and I hope that, between us, we can make it two wins in a row for them.

The Branford Boase Award logo

The Branford Boase Award logo


Our publishers Usborne are fantastically well represented on this year’s longlist, with no fewer than four titles – a fifth of the total! Click here to see the full longlist.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!