Our final line-up announcement!

Happy New Year, everyone! As a very special treat (we’re nice like that), we’re announcing the rest of our brilliant YA Shot 2018 authors! Without further ado here, in absolutely no order whatsoever, they are…

Indigo Donut cover

Patrice LawrenceIndigo Donut

Patrice Lawrence’s debut YA novel Orangeboy was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award and won the Waterstone’s Older Children’s Fiction Prize and The Bookseller YA Prize.

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Vic JamesTarnished City

Vic is the author of dark fantasies Gilded Cage and Tarnished City (PanMacmillan) set in an alternate contemporary Britain. Gilded Cage was a Radio 2 bookclub choice. Vic also directs documentaries for television, recently covering Brexit, the US election, and Trump’s First 100 Days with Jeremy Paxman on BBC1, and the story of the musical Evita for BBC2. In her spare time, Vic loves far-flung adventures: she’s hiked to Everest Base Camp, parasailed in Rio de Janeiro, swum in the Galapagos, and interviewed archaeologists on Easter Island.

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Sufiya AhmedSecrets of the Henna Girl

Sufiya is an award-winning author and a public speaker on girls’ rights. Secrets of the Henna Girl was launched on International Women’s Day at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London in 2012. It has been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Polish. It won Best Published Writer of the Year at the Brit Writers awards, Best Teenage Book at the Redbridge Teenage Book Awards, was highly commended at the Sheffield Children’s Book Awards and was shortlisted for North East Teen Book Award and Rotherham Children’s Book Award. Sufiya regularly visits secondary schools and discusses her previous career in the Houses of Parliament to educate and inspire pupils about the democratic process and discusses how her political activism influences her writing. Sufiya is the founder and director of the BIBI Foundation, a non profit organisation which arranges visits to the Houses of Parliament for diverse and underprivileged children. She regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and The Independent.

Fiona ShawOutwalkers

Fiona had written a memoir and four novels for adults before writing Outwalkers. Fiona’s adult novel Tell it to the Bees will be released as a feature film in 2018.  It will star ten year old Gregor Selkirk as Charlie, together with Holliday Grainger and Anna Paquin. Fiona lives in York and teaches Creative Writing part-time at Northumbria University.

The Exact Opposite of OK cover

Laura Steven: The Exact Opposite of OK

Laura Steven is an author and journalist with an MA in Creative Writing. She also mentors aspiring writers through schemes like Pitch Wars, and in 2016, her TV pilot Clickbait was a finalist in British Comedy’s Sitcom Mission. At her day job, she works for Mslexia, a non-profit organisation supporting women in publishing.

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Lauren James: The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Lauren graduated in 2014 from the University of Nottingham, UK, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She sold the rights to the novel when she was 21, whilst she was still at university. The Next Together was longlisted for the Branford Boase Award, a prize given to recognise an outstanding novel by a first-time writer. Her other novels include The Last Beginning, the epic conclusion to The Next Together which was named one of the best LGBT-inclusive works for kids and young adults by the Independent. Lauren lives in the West Midlands.

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Rachel Ward: The Cost of Living

Rachel’s debut, Numbers, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Award and sold to 26 countries. She has two grown-up children and a husband, and lives in Bath. A silly dog and a chicken complete the household.


Songs About Us coverChris RussellSongs About a Girl

At the age of thirteen, Chris Russell formed pop/rock band The Lightyears with his best friends from school. Since then, The Lightyears have toured all over the world, trashing a grand total of zero hotel rooms and performing everywhere from Wembley Stadium (which Chris talks about rather a lot) to a cow shed in Belgium (which he talks about less – it was a booking error). Chris’ debut, Songs About a Girl, was nominated for Maximum Pop’s Debut Of The Year 2016, and recently led to Chris being selected as one of the friends in WHSmith’s Zoella & Friends Book Club.

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Cathryn Constable: The White Tower

Cathryn was educated at Cambridge University. She wrote her debut, The Wolf Princess, after being told that her grandfather had been stationed at Archangel on a Royal Navy vessel intended to bring the Russian Imperial family to safety in Great Britain

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Mitch Johnson: Kick

After graduating from the University of East Anglia with an award-winning degree in English Literature with Creative Writing, Mitch completed Kick, which is endorsed by Amnesty International UK because it upholds and illuminates many children’s rights. Mitch currently works as a bookseller in Norwich, where he lives with his wife.

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Lucy Ivison: Freshers

Co-authors Tom Ellen and Lucy met in the sixth form at school and have been friends ever since. They write dual narrative books, with Tom writing the boy’s voice and Lucy the girl’s. Lucy is a school librarian who runs an online teen magazine, Whatever After, as well as teaching in girls’ schools across London specialising in building confidence and creativity. Their debut, Lobsters, was shortlisted for the inaugural YA Book Prize and the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition (2013).

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 Lisa HeathfieldFlight of a Starling

Lisa lives in Brighton with her husband and three sons. Her first two novels, Seed and Paper Butterflies, were shortlisted for the Waterstones’ Children’s Prize. Paper Butterflies was also shortlisted for the YA Book Prize and won the FAB Book Award. 

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Virginia BerginWho Runs the World?

Virginia grew up in Abingdon, Oxfordshire in a house tied to her father’s job. She studied psychology but rediscovered creative writing while dabbling in fine art at Central St Martins. She has since written poetry, short stories, film, and television scripts. Virginia has more recently been working in online education, creating courses for The Open University. She currently lives in Bristol and is passionate about the power of stories.

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Maggie Harcourt: Unconventional

Maggie is the author of The Last Summer of Us and Unconventional. She grew up in west Wales, but now lives in Bath. She always wanted to be a writer, but over the years she has also worked at conventions, as a hotel chambermaid, as a PA and for a French chef. She loves books, cake and the theatre.

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Pooja PuriThe Jungle

Pooja first tasted publishing success with her short story Chess, and later graduated from King’s College London with a First Class degree in English Language and Literature. Whilst at university, she read for a publishing house and has since worked in the education sector. In 2014, she was chosen as a winner of the Ideas Tap Writer’s Centre Norwich Inspires competition. She is a recent graduate of the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University.Foxlowe cover

Eleanor WasserbergFoxlowe

Eleanor studied at Oxford University and has a Creative Writing MA from the University of East Anglia. She’s lived in Paris and London, and was awarded a writing grant from the UK Arts Council to complete her debut novel Foxlowe, published in 2016 in the UK and USA. It was shortlisted for the Not the Booker Prize, the East Anglia First Novel Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. Eleanor lives in Norwich. She’s currently working on her second novel, Portrait of Girl in a Red Dress.

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Muhammad Khan: I Am Thunder

Muhammad is a maths teacher by day and a YA author by night. He graduated from King’s College London with a degree in Engineering before deciding he’d rather work with supercool teenagers than seriously geeky engineers. I Am Thunder is his first novel. When he’s not writing, you’ll find him creating mathematical bunting, narrating creepypastas, or spying on his pet rabbit Sheba whom he has become convinced is plotting to take over the world.

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Helena CogganThe Catalyst

Helena wrote the first draft of The Catalyst when she was thirteen. She lives with her family in London and divides her time between writing and procrastinating, which her parents insist on calling university.

The Ship

Antonia Honeywell: The Ship

Antonia began her career in the Education Department of the Natural History Museum in London, working with school groups and running creative workshops. She went on to train as a teacher and led departments in a range of schools from a single-sex grammar to an Ofsted-failed inner city comprehensive. She lives in Buckinghamshire with her husband and four children, where she writes, reads, bakes, sings a cappella jazz and showtunes in a champion chorus and refuses to take on a dog.




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