Author Melvin Burgess, Guardian journalist Julia Eccleshare and BuzzFeed's Chelsey Pippin are among the judges for the YA Book Prize 2017, run by The Bookseller.
Eccleshare is children's books editor for the Guardian and children's director of the Hay Festival, which is a partner of the prize. Pippin is a writer and commissioning editor for features at BuzzFeed UK, where she writes regular YA book features. Burgess is a Carnegie Prize-winning author who was last year honoured with a YA Book Prize special achievement award to mark 20 years since the publication of Junk (Andersen Press).
Pippin said: "YA literature has always held a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf - I wouldn't be the person I am today without having found myself in books for teenagers like me, and so I'm beyond thrilled to be a judge for this year's YA Book Prize panel. I look forward to celebrating the daring, emotive, and necessary stories that are championed in YA throughout Britain and Ireland."
They will be joined on the judging panel by Amelia Douglas, account director at book printer at Clays; book blogger Jim Dean; Farah Taylor, manager at Alef Bookstores; Scottish Book Trust’s schools tour programme manager Beth Goodyear; Children’s Books Ireland’s communications manager Jenny Murray and academic Darren Chetty. Teenage judges will also help to choose the overall winner.
Taylor said: "We are incredibly lucky to have such a high standard of YA fiction in the industry today, written by a diverse range of authors. As a retailer, seeing increasingly more young adult readers and adults connecting with YA is wonderful. I am thoroughly looking forward to judging this year’s shortlist."
Murray highlighted the significance of the award, which was launched in 2014 to recognise the best YA novel written by a British or Irish author, saying: "I am delighted to be a member of the judging panel for The Bookseller YA Book Prize 2017. I think this award is incredibly important as it is one of the few that exists in the UK and Ireland solely for the recognition of writing for young adult audiences. The YA scene is always exciting, but I think on this side of the world we have been slower to recognise, support and celebrate this genre. Now there are more festivals dedicated to YA, more titles being published in this category and important prizes, like this one, which shout a little louder on behalf of the community."
Dean added: "I'm a huge fan of the YA Book Prize and love the range of different books included in both of the first two shortlists; I'm so excited to see which have been selected this year! I think that last year saw some exceptional work from UK and Irish YA authors and I know that deciding between the books in the final 10 will be a tough challenge, but I'm thrilled to be asked to be one of the judges."
The judging panel will be chaired by Caroline Carpenter, web editor and acting children's editor at The Bookseller. More information about all of the judges can be found on the YA Book Prize website.
This year's YA 10 shortlist will be revealed tomorrow (Thursday 12th March) at 12pm and the winner will be announced on 1st June in a ceremony at the Hay Festival.