The Bookseller announces the YA Book Prize 2016 judges & shortlist

The Bookseller today announced the ten titles on the shortlist for The YA Book Prize 2016.

Authors Catherine Johnson, Sarah Crossan, Frances Hardinge, Holly Bourne, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson, William Sutcliffe, Patrick Ness, Louise O’Neill and Jenny Downham are all in the running for the £2,000 prize, which will be awarded at a ceremony at Hay Festival on 2nd June 2016. 

The ten books in contention for this year’s prize are:

Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne (Usborne)

One by Sarah Crossan (Bloomsbury Children's)

Unbecoming by Jenny Downham (David Fickling Books) 

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (Macmillan Children’s Books)

The Curious Tale of the Lady Caraboo by Catherine Johnson (Corgi/Penguin Random House Children’s) 

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (Walker Books) 

Asking for It by Louise O’Neill (Quercus)

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic)

Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe (Bloomsbury Children’s)

The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson (David Fickling Books)

Nigel Roby, chief executive and publisher of The Bookseller says:

"Creating the prize allows The Bookseller to shine a light on the very best YA writing out of the UK and Ireland.  YA books have to contend with so many other forms of entertainment. In the light of that, the success of the genre has been remarkable. Hopefully, the prize will continue to build on that success and allow these great books to reach new readers."

Children's Editor, The Bookseller Charlotte Eyre says: 

"We have a fantastic line-up of diverse YA books on the shortlist this year, from contemporary fiction to historical novels, showcasing the brilliance of the YA fiction market at the moment. I'm also thrilled that so many wonderful judges have agreed to help judge the prize. I can't wait to see which book they pick as a final winner."
Kate McFarlan, strategic director of Clays says

"We have seen some fantastic successes in YA publishing going through our presses in  the last five years, and we are delighted to be sponsoring The Bookseller’s YA Book Prize, rewarding the best writing and publishing in this area."

The YA Book Prize was established by The Bookseller Magazine in 2014 and announced its first winner in 2015. In 2016 The Prize is sponsored by Clays and is run in association with World Book Day, Stripes, Maximum Pop! and Hay Festival. The prize is the first in the UK and Ireland to specifically focus on fiction for young adults, addressing the need for a prize focusing on the growing YA and teen market.

Open to young adult novels published between 1st January and 31st December 2015, the prize celebrates great books for teenagers and young adults. To be eligible, a book can be written in any genre – romance, realism, dystopia or fantasy. The only requirement is that the author must have been resident in the UK or Ireland six months prior to publication. 

This year’s judging panel, led by Eyre, comprises of leading industry figures:

Bim Adewunmi, writer and editor

Charlotte Eyre, children’s editor of The Bookseller

Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival

Kirsten Grant, director of World Book Day

Jonas Herriot, librarian and chair of Youth Libraries Group (YLG) London

Kate McHale, YA buyer at Waterstones

David O’Callaghan, youth book buyer at Eason

Katherine Woodfine, author and director of YALC

Teen readers themselves are involved in the final judging process and several will be asked by the Hay Festival to take part. Schools across the country will also be invited to shadow judge the prize. 

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at Hay Festival on 2nd June 2016.