It’s been a busy month since the members of Shadow Judges panel for this year’s Young Writer of the Year Award received our parcels of the five shortlisted book (above). Clare, Dane, Eleanor, Rebecca and I have read the lot, blogged about them, discussed them between ourselves and some of us got to meet most of the authors in a lovely bloggers event (see Rebecca’s post on that here).
Then, last Friday, all five of us met in the Covent Garden offices of PFD, with Robert Collins (of Intelligence Squared and former deputy literary editor of the Sunday Times) as our moderator, to pick our winner. We discussed each of the five books in turn to gauge the feel in the room. Time for the first round of voting – and I can honestly say that Robert was gobsmacked – not at our choice, but at our unanimous decision at the first step! No further debate was needed.
It will be fascinating to see if the three formal judges, Andrew Holgate of the Sunday Times, Elif Shafak and Lucy Hughes-Hallett concur; last year’s shadow panel chose a different shortlisted book. But we won’t know their choice until the award ceremony itself on December 7th.
Before I reveal which book was our winner – at the bottom of this post is a giveaway the Shadow Judges are running across all of our blogs/twitter accounts – five winners can get their hands on their choice of book from the shortlist – see below.
Now, drumroll please.
The Shadow Judges Winner is…
The Lucky Ones by Julianne Pachico
We loved the scope and range of this collection of interlinked short stories, the way lead characters in one became subsidiary characters, sometimes in a different time period, in another. The writing zinged from the sense of place down to the small details, and the bravura quirkiness of some tales really drew us in. Julianne is a great talent, and I look forward to reading whatever she writes next.
I enjoyed reading all five books very much – and you can see my collected reviews here. Being part of this panel has been rather wonderful, and thank you to Maddy Pickard, FMcM, PFD and the Sunday Times for letting me be involved.
Now for the giveaway:
This will run from today until the 7th December when the formal winner will be announced. Apologies, but entries are limited to UK/Irl. Five winners will be drawn at random after that date.