Sunday 22 March 2015

The YA Book Prize- Awards Ceremony

Hello readers! I am very sorry I haven't been that active recently- A-Levels haven't been that kind for my blogging life! On the plus side, I have almost finished the novel I am writing at the moment, so I hope to be in full editing mode by the summer. Obviously as the 'exam months' get nearer and nearer I won't be that active on here... but come summer and I will be blogging like craazzzzaaayyyyy!

Anyway, I thought it would be nice for my first post in a while to be about The YA Book Awards and the ceremony, which I was lucky enough to attend on Thursday evening in Foyles in Charing Cross. I have written a post on The YA Book Awards itself here, and for the past few weeks I have been reading all of the shortlistees like crazy. I didn't quite make it to reading all nine of the books but I only have two more to go, which was quite good for my reading speed. 

You might know that for the past couple of months I have been working with FMcM Associates, reading the lovely books they have sent me and blogging for them, and I was lucky to be invited to The YA Book Awards to meet some of the people I have only contacted from behind a screen. Although I turned up not knowing anyone, everyone there I spoke to made me feel extremely welcome and it was fantastic to meet so many bookish people. They say that getting into publishing and the fancy literary world is not about what you know, but about who you know, and events like these certainly help me to move into that bracket!

But enough of my rambling. The event itself (being the first YA Book Award!) was perfectly and thoroughly planned and set in the newly-renovated Foyles in Charing Cross, which I hadn't visited yet! As soon as I reached Foyles I saw LOADS of displays celebrating the Awards, which was really special. All the books were laid out for all to see, as well as some delicious YA cupcakes- there is not a book event I have been to without there being some form of cupcake! It was great to talk to so many awesome people; I was able to have some lovely chats with Sally Green (author of Half Bad), James Dawson (author of Say Her Name) and even more excitingly Louise O' Neil (author of Only Ever Yours and THE WINNER!) and they all signed my books, which was extra lovely of them considering they were holding glasses of wine and probably wanted to chat to more exciting people than a blogger/fangirl/over-excited teenager. 

Louise O' Neil was absolutely lovely and I was ecstatic that she won. Only Ever Yours was a beautifully haunting book that spoke a thousand truths, and I have recommended it to so many people already! The fan response both in the blogosphere and Twitter has been astonishing and I know that so many people love it and were rooting for it since Day One. Only Ever Yours is not only an electrifying YA dystopian but it gives out an incredibly important message in such a poignant way. 

At the end of the night I was also lucky enough to meet the fabulous Rosianna Halse Rojas (find her here and here) and safe to say I was just a tiny bit excited... I didn't fangirl at all. NOT AT ALL.

All in all, safe to say that the first ever YA Book Prize was an astounding success and the awards ceremony was beautiful and exciting. Thank you so much for inviting me, FMcM Associates, and thank you to everyone who made me feel so welcome.

I'm now going to go and stroke all of my signed books. And fangirl over meeting Rosianna. And re-read Only Ever Yours.

Until next time :)