The Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year 2018 Bloggers Event

Last year I was privileged to be on the official Shadow Judges Panel for this super award – you can read about my experiences here. One of the key events in the awards calendar each year is the Bloggers Event which is held at the Groucho Club in London, and I was delighted to be able to attend this year’s one again this weekend.

It was lovely to finally meet Susan of A Life in Books – we’ve corresponded for years now but never met until yesterday. It was lovely too to see  familiar friends again – Eleanor of Elle Thinks, Clare of A Little Blog of Books,  Elizabeth of Fictionbitch and her author blog, Naomi of The Writes of Woman, Eric of Lonesome Reader and Erica of The Bookshop Around the Corner.  Susan is one of the Shadow Judges this year (see the full panel here).

This year’s shortlist comprises four books – two novels, two non-fiction, and all very different. They are:

  • Kings of the Yukon by Adam Weymouth – who travelled down the Yukon river following the salmon, meeting bears and the local peoples in Alaska.
  • Elmet by Fiona Mozley – shortlisted for the Man Booker 2017 (the prizes have different dates), a gripping slice of contemporary Gothic
  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar – a historical novel set in the 18th C, which is one for fans of Golden Hill so Andrew Holgate said (which I loved).
  • The Reading Cure by Laura Freeman – a memoir about how reading helped Laura conquer her anorexia.

I hadn’t read any of these books, although I devoured Elmet on the train home, finishing it this morning! Having met all four of the authors at the event which was chaired by Andrew Holgate of the Sunday Times, heard them read from their books and talk about them, I’m desperate to read all of them as soon as possible. Please excuse the awful photo below, the lighting wasn’t good and without my reading glasses on, I couldn’t see whether I’d got a good snap of the four!  However, they were all lovely and engaging to talk to.

The Shadow Panel meet to select their winner on Monday and I will be fascinated to see who they will pick.  The Judges (Andrew Holgate, Kamla Shamsie and Susan Hill) will announce the winner of the award on December 6.  Thank you to PFD for hosting another lovely afternoon.

16 thoughts on “The Sunday Times PFD Young Writer of the Year 2018 Bloggers Event

  1. I’m so glad you were able to go and meet up with other bloggers! Were the others from the shadow panel there? Out of the 2.25 books on the shortlist I’ve read (I couldn’t get through the Gowar and don’t have a copy of the Weymouth yet), Elmet is my favourite to win by a mile. I haven’t said that to Susan or the others as I don’t want to influence their decision — though if they’re like us their winner is already clear before their meeting! If I had to predict the official winner, though, I’d probably say Gowar.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      A couple of the others were, but I don’t know them and didn’t get to talk to them. Paul couldn’t make it – shame as I’ve yet to meet him. I predict the Gowar to win too for same reasons as you.

      • Ah, that’s a shame. I wondered if Paul would be there. I guess it was too much for him to travel to London twice in a few days (he’s based down in Dorset). I know Lizzi as a blogging friend and have been in touch with Lucy on Twitter.

  2. I would have loved to come to this but it just wasn’t doable. Sounds like a great night! It seems like such a long time since I read Elmet and Mermaid that I was surprised they’re still eligible for prizes, but they’re both excellent and Elmet would be my pick as well. I haven’t read the two non fiction titles.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      This Award’s year goes from 1st July – hence the older books being eligible. It’s an afternoon do rather than evening too – so Christmas shopping time around the event! 🙂

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I hope the party was lovely. I won’t see you at the announcement evening though – I’m otherwise engaged that time!

  3. It was lovely to meet you, too, Annabel. A thoroughly enjoyable event. I’m keeping schtum about our winner, of course, but I can say that unfortunately Paul was caught up in the Waterloo nightmare and didn’t actually make it to the meeting. He did have a say, though. Thanks goodness for mobiles!

  4. So nice to see you again, Annabel, and yes it was totally brilliant to see familiar faces, meet new ones (^ hello Susan of A Life In Books!), and chat with the authors. Their readings were all fantastic, I haven’t any idea how the shadow panel managed to choose. (Also – pretty sure that’s my knee in the photo above. Immortalised in digital form with Andrew Holgate and some brilliant authors!)

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Lovely to see you too. Yes – your knee is immortalised. Weren’t all the authors brilliant – I wanted to wrap Laura up to protect her. Dying to read both the non-fiction books (once I’ve got a few more novellas out of the way).

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