So the shortlist is here. After weeks of reading more than 90 submissions, it’s a relief to announce this list to the world. We think we’ve chosen ten fantastic books.
The Bookseller and We Love This Book launched the prize in September after several publishers bemoaned the fact that there was no dedicated YA prize in the UK. Others complained that YA books published over here don’t get the same recognition as their American counterparts. Then bookshop owners told us they would happily support an award for YA literature, and so The Bookseller YA Book Prize was born.
Once the announcement and administrative stuff was out of the way, it was a lot of fun to read the submissions, but actually choosing 10 to go on the shortlist was slightly daunting. Would our tastes correspond to the wider publishing world? And more importantly, what would our teen shadow judges say?
Ultimately we chose 10 books that we loved. Hopefully we have reflected the diversity there is in UK and Irish YA. There were of course some books we were very sad not to shortlist but ultimately we we have a mixture horror, romance, humour, literary fiction, dystopia, fantasy and realism. There are début writers and established authors, big titles from large publishing houses, and less well-known books that might have flown under the radar when they were first released.
Now it’s up to our judges to pick the one book they think should be crowned The Bookseller YA Book Prize winner, which will be announced at a ceremony in Foyles in London on the 19th March next year.
But in the meantime we are hoping to gauge public opinion with a Twitter campaign. Let us know which book you like the most using "#Team" plus its title. So if Say Her Name is your favourite, tweet @YABookPrize using the hashtag "#TeamSayHerName". If you want to champion Finding A Voice, use "#TeamFindingAVoice", and so on. Hopefully over the next few months we will celebrate not only the 10 wonderful books shortlisted for our prize, but the YA industry in the UK and Ireland as a whole.
Charlotte Eyre is the The Bookseller's children's editor and will chair the judging panel of the YA Book Prize