A SINGLE mother who wrote her first novel in an Edinburgh cafe and sold it to a US publisher for $100,000 yesterday collected one of the UK's top literary awards.
Joanne Rowling collected a gold medal and £2500 in the Nestle Smarties Book Prize - the biggest competition of its kind - for a children's fantasy she worked on while her baby daughter slept beside her in the cafe.
Her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, has sold 30,000 copies in the UK and attracted fan mail from both children and adults. It was the winning entry in the competition's 9-11 age category.
Last night, Ms Rowling, 32, said: "It's a particularly wonderful award to win from my point of view, because the final judging is done by children, and they are obviously the people whose opinion matters to me most.
"It was planned as a seven-book series and I am half way through number three. I also have another children's book half-finished."
Meanwhile, Fife-based writer Kathleen Jamie last night received a £15,000 prize. She was one of five poets who each won the latest annual Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists.