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We are delighted to announce our 2019 Shadow Panel.  Each year we invite some of the most insightful book bloggers, vloggers, and ‘grammers to share their thoughts about our shortlist, and to choose their winner before our Judges reveal their choice.


Anne Cater has been blogging at Random Things Through My Letterbox for almost nine years and is a voracious reader across all genres. Her blog has been shortlisted twice in the Arts & Culture section of the UK Blog Awards.  She is a guest reviewer for the Daily Express ‘Books on Friday’ feature. She will be a judge for the CWA Dagger Awards in 2020.  Anne organises Blog Tours for publishers and also directly with authors and is the creator of the successful Facebook group Book Connectors.  Find her on twitter as @annecater


David Harris trained as a physicist but then made an unexpected sideways move into tax. But books have been a constant and lately he’s made a corner of the web at Blue Book Balloon to talk about them. David has two grown up children and is married to the Vicar of a small village at the heart of Midsomer Murders land (so far, everyone is unscathed). Time not spent reading is mostly taken up by reshelving books, dusting books, and dog walking. Find him on twitter as @bluebookballoon


Linda Hill is a blogger and reviewer whose entire life has revolved around books and reading;  from studying English at university, then teaching it, through becoming an Educational Consultant, Inspector and Adviser with a focus on literacy and English to writing non-fiction English teaching resources and, more recently, completing her first novel. She blogs at Linda’s Book Bag. Linda reads across a broad spectrum of books including poetry and children’s fiction as well as the full range of adult genres, but still rereads her childhood Paddington books annually. As well as reading, Linda is passionate about travel, having been from Antarctica to Zanzibar, although she complains when she has to weigh her books to keep her suitcase light enough to carry. She also loves cats, chocolate and gardening. Find her on twitter at @Lindahill50Hill

Clare Reynolds has been an avid reader ever since she could hold a book. Having spent most of her childhood reading, she fulfilled her dream of studying English Literature at Leeds University. After realising she was always recommending books to friends and family, in 2017 she started her Book Blog called Years Of Reading Selfishly.

Since then, Clare has blogged and recommended books relentlessly, has been a judge for the Romantic Novel Awards and has recently live tweeted from the Henley Festival. Clare also been a guest on Booktime Brunch with Antonia Honeywell, a dedicated book programme on Chiltern Voice Radio Station. She is on twitter and Instagram as @yearsofreading


Phoebe Williams has been reviewing books on her Instagram blog, @thebrixtonbookworm, since August 2017. An English Literature graduate and former media planner for luxury fashion and beauty brands, she is now pursuing a full-time career in book marketing at Faber & Faber. Phoebe is a particular fan of literary fiction and non-fiction, especially memoirs, and her all-time favourite book is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy. She is also on twitter as @ brixtonbookworm


The 2019 Shadow Panel will be reading and discussing the four books shortlisted by the Award Panel (tba on 3 November).  You can follow along at their blogs and on twitter with #YoungWriterAwardShadow.  They will announce their winner on 28 November – a week before the Award Panel announce the winner of the 2019 Young Writer of the Year Award.  Will they disagree…?

Young Writer Award @YoungWriterYear

Follow us on twitter. The Young Writer of the Year Award is a prize of £10,000 for a writer under 35.

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