Congratulations to our Big Imaginations supported artist and writer Oliver Sykes for winning in the ‘Illustrated Young Reader’ category at the 2023 Children’s Literature Festivals Book Awards with his wonderful debut book ‘Alfie’s First Fight’.


Oliver said of his win “I’m absolutely ecstatic! For me, this award speaks not just to the creative team behind the book and our brilliant publishers (Stories Of Care and Manchester Children’s Book Festival at Manchester Metropolitan University) but to all the wonderful people who have supported my journey as a Children’s Author, thus far.


Along the way, I’ve encountered many gatekeepers who, sadly, feel worlds apart from my stories and my experiences (Alfie’s First Fight had 21 submissions rejected and countless times, I was told that no publisher would ever be interested in a children’s story that features a child boxer) but this award is voted for by children, which makes it so special. I’m so honoured to see that they have found light in Alfie First Fight!”




See the show

You can see just how brilliant this story is for yourself in Oliver’s stage adaptation of the book at Horse + Bamboo on 4th June 2023 and Waterside Arts on 1st July 2023.


Find out more and buy tickets on the See A Show page of our website!



Read the book

You can buy Alfie’s First Fight here.

Alfie and his dad have a big problem. Alfie’s big brother, Jacob has disappeared moments before an all-important boxing match.



While searching for him, Alfie encounters two shifty-looking men who sound like they’ll do anything to get their dirty hands on the prize-money.



Soon, Alfie finds himself trapped in the heart of a scandal. Can Alfie safely return Jacob to the ring in time…? Or will he have to take his big brother’s place…? It’s Crime-Thriller meets Rocky! Perfect for fans of Jacqueline Wilson and Phil Earle!