Dear Dylan Long-listed for the Young Minds Book Award
Last Thursday I received some amazing news. My new novel, ‘Dear Dylan’ has been long-listed for the Young Minds Book Award.
It has taken me three days to get back down off the ceiling!
The long-list consists of 12 books – you can find out more about them by clicking here.
There are so many reasons why I am absolutely ecstatic right now. To be long-listed for an award for my first stab at writing for young people is such an honour. And to be long-listed for this particular award means such a lot to me personally.
The reason I wrote ‘Dear Dylan’ in the first place was as a result of the work I do with teenagers in writing and drama workshops. Through getting participants at the workshops to write about what they want and workshop plays about issues close to their hearts I am constantly reminded of the pressures unique to being a teenager.
I wanted to write a novel that dealt with some of these issues and offer advice indirectly through the characters and the choices they make.
The Young Minds Book Awards seeks to raise awareness and create understanding of the mental health needs of children and young people. It is a cause really close to my heart for personal as well as professional reasons. So to be included on the long-list is a dream come true.
For all of you aspiring novelists out there it is also a great example of how you should NEVER give up on your dream.
One year ago I turned down a two book deal for ‘Dear Dylan’ because I felt I was really being messed about by the publisher concerned. After making this decision I was absolutely gutted and thoroughly disillusioned. But then, at the beginning of this year I decided to publish the book myself. This is another reason I am so chuffed right now. Making it to the long-list surely is proof that self-published books no longer need to be the sneered upon, poor relation in the UK book world.
I really hope that this will inspire other writers to choose self-publishing as a positive and empowering option if they can’t find satisfaction via the traditional routes.