Dylan Thomas Prize Longlist
The prize is open to any writer publishing in English under the age of 30, with novels, poetry and drama all being recognised this year, the seventh in which the prize has been given.
Nine of this year’s works are debuts. The winner will receive £30,000 and a bronze bust of Dylan Thomas. Sponsored by the University of Swansea, the shortlist will be announced in the autumn, with the winner announced at a ceremony in Swansea in November.
The judges of this year’s prize are Peter Flrorence, Allison Pearson, Cerys Matthews, Carolun Hitt, Kim Howells, Nicholas Wroe, Kurt Heinzelman and Peter Stead.
The chairman, Stead, said: “Every year of the Prize is different from the previous one but this year, the sheer volume of new talent we’ve discovered leaves me with a feeling that we are going to have an exceptional year. These are books that readers will definitely want to get their hands on.”
The full shortlist is:
How To Be A Good Wife by Emma Chapman (Picador)
The Last King Of Lydia by Tim Leach (Atlantic)
The Gurkha’s Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly (Quercus)
Call It Dog by Marli Roode (Atlantic)
Julie Sarkissian Dear Lucy (Hodder & Stoughton)
Beneath The Darkening Sky by Majok Tulba (Oneworld)
Watkins Battleborn by Claire Vaye (Granta)
Ballistics by D.W. Wilson (Hamish Hamilton)
Sins Of The Leopard by James Brookes (Salt)
The Shape Of A Forest by Jemma L. King (Parthian)
Our Obsidian Tongues by David Shook (Eyewear)
No Quarter by Polly Stenham (Faber)
N.B. This is the first time a playwright has been nominated for the prize.
The Boy With Two Heads by Andy Muligan, reviewed by Josh Lacey
In How to Get Ahead in Advertising, just as in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, there can only be one winner when two personalities are trapped in the same body. In The Boy with Two Heads, Mulligan rewrites tragedy as a triumph, and turns the story into a neat way to explore friendship and tolerance.
Charlie’s life is torn apart by a terrorist bomb in a London market. Months later, she meets Nat, whose family has also been left devastated by the same explosion. But as Charlie gets closer to Nat she uncovers secrets and a whole cast of shady characters that lead her to believe Nat knows more about the attack than he is letting on. Split Second is a breathtaking thriller that shifts between the perspectives of its two main characters as their courage and their loyalties are tested to the limit. Watch the trailer to find out more:
Split Second will be published on 12th September 2013.
Puffin has released the cover and title of the eighth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book by Jeff Kinney.
The book will be called Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck, and feature a distinctive lime green cover.
Puffin will undertake its largest-ever print run for the book when it is released on 6th November 2013, with 800,000 copies being printed.
It’s not too late to get involved in Creepy House, this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, available in all public libraries.
And if you’re lucky, your library may be running the Arts Award Extension and be able to give you the booklet Chris Riddell describes in the video…
Arts Award Discover is a perfect fit with the Summer Reading Challenge, as it encourages children and young people to try out creative activities, find out about artists and writers behind books, stories and art works, record their discoveries in an arts log and share what theyve done with family and friends. Through Arts Award, children can start on an exciting arts journey, using the activities that are part of Summer Reading Challenge as a stepping stone to discovering other art forms. Macmillan Childrens Books have also helped make this affordable for libraries with their support for a special activity booklet called The House and the Mouse, which includes suggestions and ideas for all sorts of creative activities, presented through Chris Riddells curious and imaginative illustrations. By completing these alongside the Summer Reading Challenge, children will have completed the Arts Award Discover requirements.Get involvedContact your local library to see if they are running the Arts Award extension in 2013. As this is a pilot year it wont be available everywhere.
After 28 years and 28 novels, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is wrapping up her series starring Alice McKinley with Now I’ll Tell You Everything, due from Atheneum on October 15. The author, whose 135-book oeuvre includes the 1992 Newbery Medal-winning Shiloh, introduced Alice in 1985 as an easily embarrassed adolescent growing up without a mother in The Agony of Alice. The series, which has 2.5 million copies in print, subsequently followed Alice through the years, a few months at a time, until the summer after high school graduation. The grand finale brings her to college graduation and well beyond – to the age of 60.
Naylor, who sold The Agony of Alice to the late Jean Karl at Atheneum (who had previously edited Naylor’s Witch series), didn’t initially envision the novel as the first in a series. “That was not in my head at all at the start,” she told PW. “I began thinking about embarrassing things that happened to me during my life – tell me a year and I can tell you something embarrassing that happened – and I thought that might make a funny story. And then when the book was published, reviewers began mentioning that Alice’s fans will await her further adventures, and that’s when we decided on making a series.”
Christopher Myers’ essay in the Horn Book is so splendid it is difficult to pick out one short quotation. I urge you to read the whole piece…
There is some idea that the percentage of books featuring children of color ought to reflect the percentage of children of color in the country. One hears echoes of this idea in all of the “mirroring, reflecting” rhetoric that pervades discussions of literature for young people. From the countless literacy programs that tout the “one good book” notion of creating lifelong readers to the endless anecdotes of authors, illustrators, and readers who identify this or that book in which “they saw themselves for the first time.” While these narratives are often true and heart-warming in their way, this shock of recognition, I think, misses the major point of literature. Literature is a place for imagination and intellect, for stretching the boundaries of our own narrow lives, for contextualizing the facts of our nonfictions within constellations of understanding that we would not be able to experience from the ground, for bringing our dreams and fictions into detail, clarity, and focus. Books allow us a bird’s-eye view of our own lives, and especially how our lives relate to those lives around us.
Part of me would like to make an individual book for each and every child I come across, draw careful sweet portraits of all the Trayvons, Sams, Chitras, Sheilas, and Sadias. But I am less interested in that simple mirroring than in making stories that define the kinds of communities in which those children will grow up. The dual impulse and constant stress of our industry is this tension between the way our work shapes culture, our innovation and imagination, and the way it reflects culture, our inclusion in the amorphous and ever-blameworthy scapegoat that is “the market.” As important as that shock of recognition may be to a child of color, I believe that creating an understanding of what a diverse society ought to look like for all children is more important. I want the kids who read my books to have a framework with which to understand the people they might meet, or even the people that they are becoming. I want the children who see my books to see an encounter with the other as an opportunity, not a threat.
The rhetoric of the trial hinged on precisely this question: whether or not this young black boy, with his bag of candy and his iced tea and his sweatshirt, was a threat. Here is also where I see my responsibility. Although it is unfair, and although it comes with an intricate history, I have the opportunity with every book I make to write this boy as even less a threat than he already isn’t. I get to do in a very public way, that which I do personally every day.
Years ago I stopped wearing hoodies. I found that particular article of clothing would often run me afoul of authorities and had women in elevators clutching their purses ever tighter. But I have found that even when I am not wearing this supposedly threatening piece of clothing, I still wear it metaphorically. My speech, my bearing — so much of it is calculated to direct others’ expectations of me, the associations that come from my race, my metaphorical hoodie. Every meeting with a publisher or media person in which I surprise them with my knowledge of ballet, Vietnamese history, classical mythology, international development, or semiotic theory (topics that I suppose I am not expected to know); every “surprise” of my own identity serves to take that metaphorical hoodie off.
After Iris by Natasha Farrant, reviewed by SF Said
It is hard to think of another writer for young readers who represents technology so seamlessly and vividly. It is not a surface detail; it is part of the fabric of her characters’ world. And if Farrant’s writing never goes as deep, emotionally, as [Hilary] McKay’s or [Dodie] Smith’s, it is in the depiction of this fabric that she excels. Her cultural references are telling and accessible. This is a story where teenage girls don’t face vampires, but use Twilight to think about real life; where teen pregnancy is understood primarily through films and books. “I’ve seen Juno, I’ve read Dear Nobody.”
Farrant’s depiction of the wider context also feels very real. Her London is lived-in and solid: the Notting Hill cafes, the anarchic free school, the claustrophobic tube ride. Even Blue’s parents’ back story feels spot-on (met at Glastonbury in the mid-90s, bonded over a Tarantino double bill). And if it is disconcerting for this reviewer to find the mid-90s treated as an ancient historical period, well, that is itself true to contemporary teen experience.
Of course, it is impossible to know how well such cultural and technological references will date. But right now, they are refreshing to see, and are key to how Farrant injects new life into an old form.
2013 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards Winners
as reported by Graham Beattie
LIANZA Junior Fiction Award – Esther Glen Medal
For the most distinguished contribution to literature for children aged 0-15.
Red Rocks by Rachael King, (Random House New Zealand)
LIANZA Young Adult Fiction Award
For the distinguished contribution to literature for children and young adults aged 13 years and above.
The Nature of Ash by Mandy Hager, (Random House New Zealand)
LIANZA Illustration Award – Russell Clark Award
For the most distinguished illustrations in a children’s book.
A Great Cake by Tina Matthews, (Walker Books Australia)
LIANZA Non Fiction Award – Elsie Locke Medal
For a work that is considered to be a distinguished contribution to non-fiction for young people.
At the Beach: Explore & Discover the New Zealand Seashore by Ned Barraud and Gillian Candler, (Craig Potton Publishing)
LIANZA Librarians’ Choice Award 2013
Awarded to the most popular finalist across all awards, as judged by professional librarians of LIANZA.
My Brother’s War by David Hill, (Penguin NZ)
Te Kura Pounamu (te reo Māori)
Awarded to the author of a work, written in Te Reo Māori, which makes a distinguished contribution to literature for children or young people.
Ko Meru by Kyle Mewburn, translated by Ngaere Roberts, illustrated by Ali Teo and John O’Reilly (Scholastic)