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We are delighted to announce our Shadow Panel the 2023 Sunday Times Charlotte Aitken Young Writer of the Year Award. This year the shadow panel has been reinstated for the first time since 2020. Together, four influential book bloggers will read and discuss each of the titles, deciding on their own winner ahead of the announcement, and also interview the shortlisted authors for the interview series ‘Readers on Writers’ which will be published on the Young Writer Award website. 

Emily Goulding thingsthativeread

Emily is the creator behind Instagram page @thingsthativeread, where she reviews a variety of books – she’s particularly keen on women-written and translated literature. She is also a publicist at Pushkin Press, working on a range of translated literary fiction and non-fiction, before which she worked at Hodder and Stoughton, as well as HarperCollins.

Here’s what Emily had to say about being a shadow judge: ‘I’m really looking forward to being part of the shadow judging panel, and feel honoured to have been chosen. Previous winners have included fresh, new voices, and I’ll be looking for a writer with a totally unique story to tell. Prizes like these are incredibly important as they provide both funding and recognition which can be indescribably valuable in the early stages of a writing career, I can’t wait to read the shortlisted titles!’

Beth Gorrie – bethjamiie

Beth Jamie is an Edinburgh-based reader and content creator. She has been reviewing books on her Instagram blog, @bethjamiie, since May 2020. A lifelong lover of stories, her interest in the diversity of lived experiences led her to study social anthropology at university, and the same passion is still behind her motivation to read widely. Beth is an experienced bookseller, and her favourite things to read are literary fiction, women’s writing in translation and memoir.

Here’s what Beth had to say about being a shadow judge: ‘I’m so thrilled to be on The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year shadow panel this year! The award serves as a wonderful opportunity to recognise the talent of emergent young writers, and a platform to champion new voices and original perspectives.’

Taslima Khatun – taslibri

Taslima Khatun has been reviewing books on her blog, @taslibri, since 2020, with a particular interest in literary fiction and translated fiction. She studied linguistics and art history at university, and has worked as a bookseller. Currently she works in the publishing industry and is based in Manchester.

Here’s what Taslima had to say about being a shadow judge: ‘I am incredibly excited to be judging this year’s Young Writers Award because supporting emerging writers during the early years of their career is paramount to establishing a landscape of literary merit in our cultural sphere. It is increasingly evident that our writers are at the forefront of artistic exploration and political change, therefore I am especially keen to discover novels which confront contemporary issues, both politically and socially, and in particular, to recognise how writers challenge such issues through narrative and stylistic choices. It is clear from past winners of the Young Writers Award, such as Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney amongst many other notable writers, that novelists have an urgent role in shaping national thought, and I am looking forward to discovering this golden thread in this year’s shortlisted titles alongside my fellow panelists.’

Harriet Caiger – harrietslittlelibrary

Harriet Caiger, the voice behind @harrietslittlelibrary on Instagram, started her blog in January 2022 to rekindle her love of reading post-university. Her platform celebrates a diverse array of authors and publishers, and her love of women’s voices, support of debut novelists, and passion for literary fiction shines through. Harriet also works at Parkinson’s UK in their Supporter Engagement team and has previously worked at Oxfam.

Here’s what Harriet had to say about being a shadow judge: ‘I am super excited to join this year’s shadow panel, and can’t wait to amplify the voices of shortlisted authors. I look forward to reading and celebrating narratives that represent the diversity of human experience and believe that by supporting emerging talent that achieves this, we will cultivate a more inclusive and dynamic literary landscape.’

 

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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