Map of Blue Book Balloon

30 October 2019

An exciting announcement!

Well I'm excited - today I'm able to share a secret I've been sitting on for a little while - I'm going to be a judge!

Not one in a wig and gown, a shadow judge

To stop mystifying, I've been asked, along with some really cool book bloggers (Anne Cater, Linda Hill, Clare Reynolds and Phoebe Williams) to be on the Shadow Panel for the The Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award. (So it's four really cool bloggers, and me).

The Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award is an annual award of £5,000 for the best book across all categories (fiction, poetry, non fiction, you name it) published in the last year by a writer under 35. The list of previous winners is spectacular: Sally Rooney and Max Porter in recent years, to Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters and Robert MacFarlane in the past, amongst many others. For all the details , including the 2018 shortlist and judges, see

I'm not judging that!

As I said, we are shadow judges (which sounds good in a kind of Avengers Assemble, who-is-the-superhero, kind of way). For the fourth year, in 2019, there is a shadow panel of bloggers choosing our own winner from the shortlist.  Last year the shadow panel comprised Amanda Chatterton, Paul Cheney, Susan Osborne, Lucy Pearson and Lizzi Risch and their winner was The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gower.

So, no wig and gown but as you can imagine, I've been pretty excited about this since I was asked. I have always found blogging great fun: ploughing through the books, sharing what I think, perhaps #BookTempting a bit - that is, persuading someone to add to their already towering TBR. Best of all is the feeling you get when you've put the right person on the track of the right book. But it can be a solitary business, so to be taking part in something based on working with a group of other bloggers is a tempting prospect. And getting the opportunity to meet those great bloggers.

You can read about more all the shadow panelists, announced today,  HERE

Anyway, what it comes down to is...

...we have to read some books...

....think about them...

...and meet to which one should win.

Some blogging will also be involved along the way - I'll be sharing my thoughts about the shortlisted books as I go (I know what's on the shortlist but you, dear reader, will have to wait till it's announced on 3 November).

It looks like being great fun, and I'm looking forward to engaging with the books. Our verdict is announced on 28 November, ahead of the The Sunday Times / University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award itself.

So - watch this space, and the Shadow panel hashtag #YoungWriterAwardShadow!

No comments:

Post a Comment