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We are delighted to announce our 2020 Shadow Panel.  This is the fifth year in a row that we have invited some of the freshest and most insightful bookbloggers and bookstagrammers to share their thoughts about our shortlist, and to choose their winner before our Judges reveal their choice. 

Ova Ceren is a Software Developer & Book Blogger. Half woman, half book, she was born and bred in Izmir, and now lives in Cambridge.

Charlie Edwards-Freshwater is an aspiring novelist and successful bookstagrammer living in Kent. A lover of classic and contemporary novels alike, Charlie was an avid reader as a child but truly fell in love with books during his late teens when he discovered the works of Virginia Woolf. Charlie has worked as a bookseller in the past and now works in marketing and PR.

Hope Ndaba has been sharing and reviewing books on her Instagram since January 2020 and has also been blogging since May 2020. Having been a Classics graduate, she is now working as a book publicist at Vintage Books. Hope is keen on demystifying publishing and shaking up what it means to be a reader. She’s a huge fan of literary fiction and particularly loves reading books by authors of colour. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram.

Marina Sofia is a translator, reviewer, writer and blogger. She has worked in marketing, editorial or event management roles for Asymptote literary journal, Geneva Writers’ Group, dVerse Poets and Royal Borough Writers, and was a reviewer for Crime Fiction Lover for more than seven years. She has recently co-founded a publishing venture, Corylus Books, which aims to bring translated crime fiction (with a social twist) from less mainstream languages.

Sissi Zhang is a London based booklover who loves reading all genres. She enjoys sharing her views and passion for books with readers of her blog and on Instagram, where she also showcases her beautiful pictures of books.


The 2020 Shadow Panel will be reading and discussing the books shortlisted by the Award Panel (tba on 1 November).  You can follow along with #YoungWriterAwardShadow.  They will announce their winner on 3 December – a week before the Award Judges announce the winner of the 2020 Young Writer of the Year Award.  So far, the Shadow Panel has never chosen the same winner as the Award Judges – what will happen this year?

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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