And the shadow panel winner is…
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico!
The overall shortlist was very strong indeed and I enjoyed reading all of the books by five very talented writers. However, we were particularly impressed with the exceptional skill and creativity Pachico demonstrated in her ambitious debut collection of interlinked short stories. The Lucky Ones is a worthy shadow panel winner but we’ll have to wait until Thursday 7th December to see who will win the overall prize. Continue reading
The first non-fiction title to be shortlisted since the 2015 relaunch of the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award is ‘Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman’ by Minoo Dinshaw. Runciman was an English historian and author who wrote several books about the Byzantine Empire and the Crusades and is still regarded as one of the most influential voices on the subject in academic circles and beyond. Continue reading
The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award isn’t just about literary debuts – occasionally, young writers can be prolific and I am pleased that there has been some recognition on this year’s shortlist for Claire North, a pseudonym for Catherine Webb. Webb/North has somehow found the time to publish several science fiction and fantasy novels under her own name and two pseudonyms, writing her first book when she was just 14 and is best known for ‘The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August’. Her latest novel ‘The End of the Day’ begins with an intriguing premise in which Charlie is the Harbinger of Death, living in Dulwich and answering to his boss, Death, at head office in Milton Keynes, travelling around the world usually to meet people before their lives end: “sometimes he is sent as a courtesy, sometimes as a warning”. However, the demands of the job begin to take their toll on Charlie and put a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend Emmi. Continue reading
Following her debut ‘The Shore’ which was shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award in 2015, Sara Taylor has been nominated again for the same prize with her second novel ‘The Lauras’. I read it several months ago before the shortlist was announced but didn’t have enough time to review it, so I have revisited it this week ahead of our shadow panel meeting on Friday when we will choose our winner. ‘The Lauras’ is a road trip novel in which Ma and thirteen-year-old Alex leave their home and Alex’s father behind in Virginia and travel across North America visiting five places which all hold some significance in Ma’s past. Ma attempts to track down a friend from each of these places, all of whom are called Laura and were an important part of Ma’s life at the time. Continue reading
‘The Lucky Ones’ by Julianne Pachico is described as a novel by its US publishers whereas it has been billed as a collection of interlinked short stories in the UK where it has recently been shortlisted for this year’s Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award. I approached ‘The Lucky Ones’ as a collection of short stories when reading it for the shadow panel discussions earlier this month but I think it can be read and enjoyed equally as a novel too, albeit a relatively fragmented one. Continue reading
The PFD Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award shortlist for 2017 has been announced today. This year, the official judges have selected five books rather than four and they are:
Outlandish Knight: The Byzantine Life of Steven Runciman by Minoo Dinshaw (biography)
The End of the Day by Claire North (novel)
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico (short stories)
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (novel)
The Lauras by Sara Taylor (novel) Continue reading
I am very pleased to be on the official shadow panel for this year’s Young Writer of the Year Award (sponsored by the Sunday Times, Peters Fraser + Dunlop in association with Warwick University), along with four brilliant book bloggers: Rebecca at Bookish Beck, Annabel at annabookbel, Dane at Social Bookshelves and Eleanor at Elle Thinks.
The £5,000 prize is open to UK and Irish writers aged 35 or under for a work of fiction, poetry or non-fiction of outstanding literary merit. It was relaunched in 2015 following a hiatus since 2009 and past winners include Zadie Smith, Sarah Waters, Naomi Alderman and Francis Spufford. Continue reading