Friday, 28 August 2015

Precious Presence

EDGE Author Sara Grant Unplugged
 

Precious presence – It’s something my husband says. I think it’s from some self-help-ish book. I’m not sure which one, and it doesn’t really matter. It’s a pithy reminder to be in the moment, which is good advice for me and for the stories that I write.

Precious presence – Sounds simple, but I’m finding it more difficult in real life than ever before. First there’s the blessing and curse of being a writer. I can do my job anywhere. Waiting in the checkout line in the grocery story, I can ponder a sticky plot problem. While falling off to sleep, I can write the best opening to a novel in the history of the world – if only I could remember what it was when I wake up the next morning. I’m never bored. But the flip side of that is that I’m sometimes in my head and not in the world. I’m so busy telling myself stories that I forget to appreciate the wonders around me.

Secondly there’s the never-satisfied hunger of technology. I go to the theatre so excited to watch a play but I have to fight the urge to check my email and then Facebook and Twitter. I’ll check it one last time before I switch off my phone and then just a quick check at intermission. Oh, and have I taken a photo I can post later?

I went to a concert recently where the person in front of me watched the entire concert on the screen of his phone. He was so busy capturing the moment that he wasn’t immersed in it.

And then there’s the urge to plug in. I’ve always found a synergy in writing and walking. Walking gives me distance from a project and time to think. But I often I take my iPhone and listen to music or an audiobook. I realize that I may be stretching my legs but I’m still stuck in my head, letting something entertainment me. Similarly I used to plug into music while travelling. You always see lots of headphoned people on the Tube. But I’ve stopped doing this because it made me feel disconnected. (Also I’ve found some of my best story ideas by eavesdropping and people watching.)

And finally I’m a list maker. I like being busy and I like the satisfying feeling of checking things off
my list. I could check off ‘lunch with friend’ but had I really enjoyed it? Was I mentally cataloguing what I needed to do next instead of really listening and enjoying the meal and my friend? I’m also notorious among my family and friends for talking on the phone while multi-tasking: checking email, emptying the dishwasher or making dinner. I don't do this much anymore because I’ve begun to think multi-task means doing more than one thing but nothing to the best of my ability.

Okay, and here’s where I sound like an old fuddy duddy. I worry about the creativity of future generations. Growing up I spent hundreds of hours playing make-believe. I imagined epic stories for my Barbies that would continue like a soap opera for weeks. I made up games with my sister when we were stuck for eight hours a day in the back of the station wagon on family driving vacations. The neighbor kids and I would play our own version of our favorite TV shows, including Big Valley and Charlie’s Angels. But today I’m as guilty as the next guy of an iPad and iPhone addiction. Will my and future generations' imaginations suffer because we don’t have to entertain ourselves anymore?

When I visit schools, I continue to meet incredibly talented storytellers so I suppose I shouldn’t be concerned. The next great writers are out there. I know it. They may create interactive ebooks or new version of entertainment that my 47-year-old brain can’t even imagine.

Precious presence is important in real life, but it’s also fundamental in fiction. To create a scene writers must evoke all five senses. They must select a few vivid details to bring the scene to life. To do this to the best of my ability, I must get out of my head, off technology and experience the real world. If I’m not absorbed in the moment and endeavouring to experience new things – if I’m not feeding my imagination – how can I ever hope to captivate a reader? 

 
Sara Grant has worked on both sides of the editorial desk. She has inspired and edited nearly 100 books for children. Her two YA novels – Dark Parties (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, Europe) and Half Lives – are futuristic thrillers. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers – Magic Trix. Sara is currently developing a new action-adventure series for tweens with Scholastic. She leads writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe as part of Book Bound and guest lectures at the University of Winchester.


Friday, 21 August 2015

BOOKS AND SANGRIA


Paula Rawsthorne shares her summer reads.

Taking my cue from Miriam’s post last week I’m also going to share the books that I read during my holiday because they are worth knowing about.  Over the course of a 'scorchio' two weeks on a fantastic campsite in Spain I was able to indulge in a feast of reading, washed down with jugs of sangria. It was such a luxury to spend hours engrossed in books in between swimming and trying to beat my kids at table tennis.

The only downside of not owning a Kindle is that packing books for a family of five takes up so much of your baggage allowance. However, our suitcases were significantly lighter on the return journey as we left many of our novels for others on the campsite to enjoy.

Call me weird, but when I’m on a beach I like to see how many people are reading from books and how many are using Kindles.  I can report that on the beaches of Costa Brava the vast majority of sun worshippers (of numerous nationalities) were reading physical books.  I saw very few Kindles which, though surprising, is reassuring to see that people are so loyal to books in their traditional form.
 
 

 
My first holiday book was ‘SMART’ by Kim Slater.  It had been on my ‘to read’ list for months, especially because it’s set in an area of Nottingham I lived in for several years.  I had high expectations for this story and it didn’t disappoint. It’s a tough tale told in an accessible way that will appeal to readers as young as ten and eleven.  Along with the grit it also manages to be moving and ultimately heart-warming and it’s a story that sits well alongside ‘The Curious Incident Of the Dog in the Night time’.  Kieran, the main character and narrator, is a gem of a creation; unique, resilient, open minded, idiosyncratic and adorable.

Whilst the author never labels Kieran, his behaviour and quirks make it clear that he has some form of autism.  His talent for drawing and fascination with Lowry is well used throughout the narrative.  He’s also an expert on all CSI type programmes and puts his knowledge to good use when he decides to investigate the death of a homeless man found in the River Trent.  The story deals with tough issues and could have been overwhelmingly depressing- e.g. Kieran’s home life is abusive with a violent stepfather figure and a mother who is the victim of domestic violence and unable to protect him.  However, the story is peppered with humour as Kieran is so optimistic and resilient and never views his situation as bleak.  I laughed out loud several times whilst reading ‘Smart’ and at other times my heart bled for Kieran as I willed him to have a happy ending.  I highly recommended ‘Smart’ for all ages and look forward to Kim Slater’s next book.

 

‘Wonder’ by R.J. Palacio is a novel that everyone seems to have read.  It’s the multi-award winning and much loved story of ten year old Auggie, a boy with a facial disfigurement who is having to face school for the first time. I was looking forward to reading it at last. The story is certainly effective in showing how we must all look beyond the surface and be accepting and kind to each other.  I liked the fact that we got the point of views of different characters. I particularly found Auggie’s sister’s perspective to be insightful and loved the way the parents were portrayed (it’s a refreshing change to see great parents in YA fiction).  I was surprised that we didn’t get the perspective of the ‘bully’ boy, Julian as I was interested to know his inner thoughts but on my return home I discovered that the author subsequently wrote a novella devoted to the bully’s point of view.  It’s a heart-warming story that will be particularly effective with many younger readers.  Although I enjoyed it, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the story was designed solely to teach a moral lesson, but it seems to have had a positive impact on people’s attitudes and that’s a wonderful achievement.

 
A book that certainly teaches a great deal without ever being preachy is Matt Haig’s ‘Reasons To Stay Alive’.  Matt’s non-fiction book about his depression and anxiety is brutally honest, generous and without vanity.  He relives his most dreadful experiences to help fellow suffers know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and that this cruel and dangerous illness isn’t something to be ashamed of.   This book is full of humour, humanity and brilliant advice.  It’s a must read for anyone suffering from depression and also anyone who knows someone in this situation.  This is a book that reaches out to people in their darkest hour and persuades them that they are not alone, that they mustn’t give up, because things can and will get better.

 
Karen Joy Fowler’s  ‘We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves’ was a holiday read that left me pondering for days after I finished it .  A number of years ago I read, and thoroughly enjoyed, ‘The Jane Austen Book Club’ but her latest novel feels like it is written by an entirely different author.  Unfortunately someone had already told me the twist, so I read it knowingly from the very beginning, but this didn’t spoil the enjoyment of this remarkable story about Rosemary and her unconventional family.  I was so engrossed in this thought provoking and challenging tale that I could hardly bear to put the book down.  I loved the writing style and the way the narrator speaks directly to the reader.  I was absolutely invested in the story and the debates it throws up and was desperate to discuss it with a fellow reader.  This has got to be one of my books of the year!


I found that I raced through Kate Atkinson’s Costa Award winning, ‘Life After Life’, despite it being a weighty tome and having a complicated structure that demands the reader stays alert.   It’s a beautifully crafted story of Ursula Todd a girl born in 1910 who keeps dying at different stages only to be reborn to live her life again and again. I found the most absorbing parts of the story were set in Germany and in England during the Blitz.  I’m in awe of the amount of research Kate Atkinson had to undertake for this book but it certainly paid off.

 I hope that people have found time to read this summer.  If anyone has ‘must-read’ recommendations please let me know.      

Friday, 14 August 2015

Stuff lists...read books!! by Miriam Halahmy



It is the summer holidays - HOORAY!!

I've spent two glorious weeks by the sea on Hayling Island. Here I am at seven o'clock in the morning at one of my favourite places, The Kench. There are a few house boats here which have been converted from WW2 landing craft. One of them features in my book, ILLEGAL.












Then I went to Cornwall to stay with a friend. That was also by the sea and a whole different terrain from flat gentle Hayling. This photo was taken on the South West path at Lamorna. We had just watched an amazing helicopter rescue. A man had had a heart attack in the car park and they were literally pumping his heart as they lifted him up into the machine. We couldn't find any news as to whether or not he survived.













So what should I read on all these wonderful holidays and for the rest of the summer? After all, it's only August and I'm in no hurry to bring on the winter and those long dark nights - although of course, they're great excuses for reading loads too.

Of course, I needn't worry because everyone is falling over themselves to bring out the latest list of what they think everyone should read - the top 100, the final fifty, the only books children should ever read, blah, blah blah.
Then another load of people are arguing over the choice of books on whatever list and putting forward their own lists.
Then people comment on those lists and it goes on and on into wearydom.

Can't we just choose books and read them? I quite enjoy reading the odd review especially of books I probably wouldn't know about otherwise. Quite a lot of my reading comes from recommendations and then I'm the sort of person who wanders into bookshops and reads along the entire fiction section from A-Z just for fun anyway. Then I move onto the biography - but now I'm boring you...
But lists? Nah - not for me, anyhow.

I have read all sorts of books this summer - some more memorable than others. Go Set a Watchman was a revelation and now I have my own theory about the two books but will only discuss it with those who have read the book. I loved it. I've carried on with the Poldark novels because of my new love affair with Cornwall and read Jeremy on the way back. Really captures the poverty and what an ass the law is/was. I'm re-reading War and Peace because I'm starting a lit course one evening a week in September. Can't wait!  It's my third time round on this massive tome and it's still as wonderful as ever. I've read After Tomorrow by Gillian Cross which flips the migrant problem through the Channel Tunnel on its head and is a very good dystopian novel. I've read the latest biography of Edward Thomas by Jean Moorcroft Wilson and gone back to reading Thomas' poetry all over again.

But this is not a list - its not even my list. It's just books I've read and there is a nice pile sitting on my desk waiting for me, as well as a few more I've downloaded onto my Kindle.

I hope you are having a wonderful summer wherever you are and that you are blessed with books you are enjoying and being sensible enough to ditch those which you aren't. Life's too short and there are too many wonderful books out there.
Happy Summer Reading folks!!

www.miriamhalahmy.com

Friday, 17 July 2015

Harper Lee by Savita Kalhan




On Tuesday 14th July I was fortunate enough to be invited to a party to celebrate the publication of Go Set a Watchman - the second book by Harper Lee, her first book being of course the iconic Pulitzer prize winning To Kill a Mockingbird, published in 1960.

I'm represented by Andrew Nurnberg Agency, who are Harper Lee's UK agents, and fellow Edge author, Sara Grant, and I were very lucky to be shown copies of the original correspondence between Harper Lee and her eventual publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird reached publication.

I will be reading Go Set a Watchman. The reviews have been mixed, but I know that it has been published in its original form, much as it was written in the mid-1950s. The manuscript was assumed lost and only discovered in 2014. The world has moved on since the days of black segregation in the south. Nelle Harper Lee, her given name, is now 89 years old. The book features characters from To Kill a Mockingbird twenty years on.

I read To Kill a Mockingbird when I was a teenager. It was my first introduction to the segregated American south. The book deals with racism in the small town of Monroeville where Harper Lee grew up. I have watched the film many times too and both book and film have had a profound effect on me. I wanted to be Scout when I was growing up. Atticus Finch gave his daughter lessons to live by, lessons in fairness and justice and tolerance, lessons to live by in any age.


To Kill a Mockingbird has been part of the curriculum in many schools over the years, and what Go Set a Watchman might do is to introduce a whole new generation to the book.


Friday, 10 July 2015

Surviving Rejection

Encouragement and Advice
from EDGE Author Sara Grant

I received my first rejection letter in March 1982 when I was thirteen years old. Seventeen magazine felt that my poem The Unnoticed Love didn’t quite suit their current editorial needs. (Is it ironic or just unfair to receive a form rejection for a poem about being rejected?)

But the dissuasion started a few years earlier in elementary school when I turned in my first proper 
My first rejection letter
creative writing assignment. I always knew I wanted to be writer. I was thrilled that at long last I could demonstrate my skill. I was sure that my teacher would recognize the genius of my short story titled Adventures in the Bread Drawer. This would be my moment. My teacher would probably read it aloud to the class as an example of excellence. This would be the start of my illustrious writing career.

But alas no. When my teacher returned my story, it looked like a study in blood splatter. My teacher loved grading with a red ballpoint pen. The pages were covered with glaring red corrections. Back then I couldn’t spell and my grammar and punctuation were rather – shall I say – inventive. (This was the dark ages before computers – and spell check.) This was my first crushing artistic rejection. (I shared this anecdote recently at a school assembly and the head teacher came up to me afterwards and said the same thing happened to her. Young discouraged writers unite!)

Those were my first rejections, but they certainly weren’t my last. I’ve received more than my fair share of rejection letters from agents and editors on both sides of the Atlantic. I considered them badges of courage. They demonstrated my commitment to my goal.

The path to publication can be long and bumpy. I don’t know a writer whose past isn’t littered with rejection. Tenacity and openness – your willingness to listen and learn – are the real keys to getting published. I know so many writers who never finish a novel or worse yet, let a rejection signal the death knell of their writing careers.

I’ve heard writers say things to the effect of “I’ll give it a year” or “if I don’t get an agent with this story, then I give up.” Please don’t. If you want to be a published writer with every fibre of your being – give it as long as it takes. 

Sure, getting published is about writing an original and compelling story, but it’s also a little about luck and a lot about things that are out of a writer’s control.

So how do you keep the faith in the face of rejection?

When I submit a manuscript, I immediately start the next story. Not the next book in the same series but a brand new original work. I don’t pin all my hopes on one project. Sometimes we must abandon stories – maybe not forever. (I blogged about leaving my dark past behind.) Maybe in a few years the market will change or you will discover how to revise your story to make it publishable.

Why not consider writing something completely different? If writing for teens, experiment with a story for young readers. If drawn to romance, try horror. You might be surprised that your writing sparkles when you experiment with an unexpected genre, or writing for an older audience suits your writing style better. Finding a publishable story can be similar to singing karaoke. I love Bon Jovi but when I tried to sing Living on a Prayer it was an unmitigated disaster. Maybe the stories you enjoy reading aren’t the stories you should be writing.

One of the many wonderful things about being a writer is that no writing is ever wasted. The novel you think will be your ticket to publication may, in fact, be an apprentice piece that hones your skills and paves the way for the novel that will lift you from the slush pile. That character you adore might find a home in a future story. That world you’ve created might simply need new inhabitants.

I often say I should be the publishing poster-child for ‘never give up’. I received my first rejection letter in 1982 and my first book deal in 2009. My advice: Write with passion. Revise with zeal. Experiment. Read and learn from fellow writers. Persevere in the face of rejection. Enjoy the act of writing. And in the words of the 1980s rock band Journey but usurped by the TV show Glee – Don’t stop believing!
 

Upcoming Event for Writers
Sara and the Book Bound Team will offer a one-day workshop – From Idea to Acquisitions – on Saturday 19 September 2015 in Edinburgh. Whether you have an idea or a completed manuscript, this workshop will help you fine tune your idea and pitch package as well as offer insider insights into publishers’ acquisition processes. For more details, visit https://bookboundretreat.wordpress.com/day-events/

Undiscovered Voices
Submissions are open for Undiscovered Voices – an anthology with the aim of helping writers and
illustrators of children’s fiction find agents, editors and ultimately readers.
Undiscovered Voices has launched the careers of nearly 30 writers and illustrators, who have gone on to publish more than 120 books. These authors have been nominated for and won an amazing array of literary prizes: including the Carnegie Medal, Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize, Branford Boase Award, Blue Peter Award, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and nearly 30 regional awards.

I’m on the team that organizes the competition. I love watching the submissions roll in and dreaming of the talent we’ll discover. If you are un-agented, unpublished and a member of SCBWI, please submit your work for consideration in Undiscovered Voices. It’s one road to publication – not the only one.

About Sara Grant
Sara Grant has worked on both sides of the editorial desk. She has inspired and edited nearly 100 books for children. Her two YA novels – Dark Parties (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, Europe) and Half Lives – are futuristic thrillers. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers – Magic Trix. Sara is currently developing a new action-adventure series for tweens with Scholastic. She leads writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe as part of Book Bound and guest lectures at the University of Winchester.
Website: www.sara-grant.com
Twitter: @authorsaragrant

Friday, 3 July 2015

BIG UP BIG CITY READS

 

Paula Rawsthorne feels honoured to be included in Nottingham’s first ever BIG CITY READ.


I love the concept of a Big City Read.  It’s been happening in American cities for years and now, more and more British cities are taking up the idea with Brighton and Hove having the longest running ‘City Read’ in the UK.

 The idea is that a city selects one book and encourages the whole community to read it.  This then leads on to discussions, debates and even inspiration to get writing through a series of special events, workshops and performances throughout the city.

 Previously, around the UK, ‘City Read’ choices have been current best sellers, classic works of literature or, novels by a local author.  However Nottingham’s ‘Big City Read’ is unique.  Nottingham decided that, rather than select an existing book, they would commission local authors, working in different genres, to write short stories for the city. 

The authors approached were enthusiastic about the project and, thanks to the determination and hard work of FiveLeavesBookshop, Nottingham Writers’ Studio, BromleyHouseLibrary, NottinghamCityofLiterature and ArtsCouncilEngland, the stories were soon published in a bespoke anthology of Nottingham tales entitled ‘These Seven.’
 
Six out of the seven stories are set in Nottingham and this helps make the connection between the community and their Big City Read much more personal. We hope that our stories will trigger many interesting conversations.

The intention is to bring the book not only to avid readers but also to people those who might otherwise miss out. It intends to show reading as an enjoyable, stimulating activity; and one that is inclusive, open to all. The authors will be doing talks and workshops in schools, colleges, prisons, women’s groups, reading groups, community centres, libraries and a wide range of other venues. Also, to encourage greater public involvement, a website will be set up for people to share their stories, submitting their own take on Nottingham and life within.

The idea of using short stories instead of a novel makes the Big City Read more accessible to reluctant readers who may find the length of a novel daunting. With ‘These Seven’ self-contained stories the reader can finish a complete, satisfying tale in the time it takes to get a bus across town.

The great advantage of an anthology using local writers is that the authors themselves can run the workshop and talks and therefore bring a much more intimate knowledge of their stories and inspiration to share with the readers.

Already the preview readings of ‘These Seven’ at LowdhamBookFestival played to a full house with great questions and interest from the audience. The official launch of Nottingham’s Big City Read will be on 17th July at the Council House in the city centre.

The six other writers in the anthology are best-selling crime novelist, John Harvey, Booker shortlister Alison Moore, writer and journalist, Shreya Sen Handley, literary novelist Megan Taylor, graphic novelist and political cartoonist John Stuart Clark AKA, ‘Brick’ (treating us to an illustrated tale) and the legendary Alan Sillitoe, with a story specially selected by his wife, Ruth Fainlight.

My story, ‘A Foreign Land’ is narrated by a ten year old Sudanese boy called Jay who has been brought up in the city and sees himself as a Nottingham lad through and through, which makes the decision to deport him and his family all the more cruel, bewildering and frightening for him. 

Pippa Hennessy, of Nottingham Writers’ Studio and project director for the City of Literature bid team said, ‘I’m really excited about this project, because it will bring Nottingham stories to Nottingham people, and allow them to tell their own stories that we hope will capture the unique spirit of this city’.

I felt honoured to be commissioned to write a story for Nottingham’s first ever ‘Big City Read’. I came to the city over twenty years ago as a student and stayed because I loved it so much. Nottingham has a thriving, and supportive writing community including the unique NottinghamWriters’Studio which is an organisation set up by acclaimed author Jon McGregor and run by writers, for writers, at all stages of their careers.

After months of work and preparation the city has just put in its bid to become a UNESCO City Of Literature (of which there are currently only seven in the world). Time will tell whether we will succeed, but the process alone has been a positive experience harnessing the enthusiasm and skills of many different city groups who love reading and writing and want to promote storytelling and literacy to people of all ages in Nottingham.    


‘These Seven’ writers- Alison Moore, John Harvey, Paula Rawsthorne, Megan Taylor, Brick, Sheelagh Gallagher (representing Nottingham City of Literature) Shreya Sen Handley. Photo taken by Stephen Handley.

I’m really looking forward to sharing this book with groups throughout Nottingham and hearing their stories too. Creating a bespoke ‘Big City Read’ with tales relating to the town is a great way to engage local people in reading and storytelling. Maybe other cities will think so too.

 

Friday, 26 June 2015

UV 2016 - Killer Opening Lines Quiz!


Edge Author Katie Dale on the competition that launched her own writing career, and how to write that killer opening line

Submissions for Undiscovered Voices 2016 are OPEN!! 
Undiscovered Voices is an amazing biennial writing competition that has launched the careers of many authors and illustrators - including 5 members of The Edge (Sara Grant, Dave Cousins, Bryony Pearce, Paula Rawsthorne and myself) - and the winners have collectively had over 120 books published! It's FREE to enter, but you need to be a member of the SCBWI (well worth it) and whilst they'd like you to submit the first 4000 words of your novel, you must have completed the whole novel before submitting (I entered in the first year it was running and HADN'T finished my novel - oops! BIG MISTAKE - as you can read about on my blog!)
Full submission guidelines can be found on the UV website


At the recent launch event at Foyles, this year's judges gave valuable advice to prospective entrants. As the submissions are judged purely on the first 4000 words, the main advice was to polish the opening of your story as much as possible - and to start it as late as possible. One editor even advised cutting your first three chapters(!) to get into the action asap. All the judges talked about wanting a hook - a killer opening line that will intrigue and excite them, take them out of their everyday lives, and compel them to keep reading.

So what makes a killer opening line? Now on the UV team, Sara Grant blogged about an experiment she conducted during the last contest.  Having heard editors and agents say that they could tell from the opening paragraph whether the manuscript had promise, she made a note - based on the opening lines alone - on whether she thought that submission would make it to the next stage. Usually, these judgements proved to be right.

So let's have some fun - with a Killer Opening Lines Quiz! Can you identify each of the following opening lines from YA books? Bonus points if you can identify the four books by previous Undiscovered Voices winners...

1) "My name is Vivian Divine. I have a secret. I know how I'm going to die."

2) "The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World. I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage."


3) "I would rather die than face them all again. Die horribly. In a messy, fleshy, blood'n'guts kind of way. It is a total no-brainer."


4) "She'd never get used to beheadings. No matter what Pa said."


5) "Sometimes I think that everyone has a tragedy waiting for them, that the people buying milk in their pajamas or picking their noses at stoplights could be only moments away from disaster." 


6) "Sitting half in and half out of my bedroom window, a foot resting on the fire escape, I checked myself over one last time. Phone. Oystercard. Keys. Mace. Paint."


7) "It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure." 


8) "Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love."


So...which opening lines made you want to read on most?

Could you identify them all?

Answers at the bottom of the page.

Good luck with your own killer opening lines - especially if you're entering UV 2016! (Go on, what have you got to lose?!)

Katie Dale is the award-winning author of YA titles SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE and LITTLE WHITE LIES 
Simon & Schuster UK
Delacorte Press USA & Canada

www.katiedaleuk.blogspot.com



1) Vivian Divine Is Dead - Lauren Sabel (UV)
2) Going Bovine - Libba Bray
3) Undead - Kirsty McKay (UV)
4) The Executioner's Daughter - Jane Hardstaff (UV)
5) Severed Heads, Broken Hearts - Robyn Schneider
6) Skulk - Rosie Best (UV)
7) Delirium - Lauren Oliver
8) The Raven Boys - Maggie Stiefvater