I cannot tell you all how thrilled I am that the 2018 Shadow Panel winner is Imogen Hermes Gowar with the fabulous The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock (Published by Harvill Secker)
I have made no secret of the fact that I adored this book. I knew when I saw it on the shortlist that it would take a stonker of a book to knock her off the top spot for me but I was very open minded.
In fact the whole judging process was much tougher than I anticipated because up against Imogen were 3 other superb authors, each with amazing books. And I’m really not just saying that! The award has enabled me to broaden my reading horizons and read genres and topics I wouldn’t have naturally picked up. I will be forever grateful for that.
As a panel, choosing the winner was not an easy ride! We all had strong opinions, we all had positives and negatives to discuss. Ultimately we chose The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock for its stunning Georgian detail, its vivid imagery, it’s larger than life, strong female characters and Imogen’s evocative writing.
I have recommended The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock to many people since reading it in 2017 and I will continue to do so. It’s a book that I know will stay with me forever.
The other authors were very deserving of their places on the shortlist and getting the chance to hear them speak at the event at The Groucho was an experience I’ll treasure.
The authors Susan Hill and Kamila Shamsie, along with Andrew Holgate will be getting together to decide their overall winner. The big reveal will be on Thursday 6th December. It will be very interesting indeed to see who their favorite is and I wonder if they had as tough a time as we did in coming to their decision!
Check out the thoughts of the other shadow panel members over on their blogs and be sure to keep your eye on the @youngwriteraward twitter account for news on the overall winner!
Paul Cheney – Half Man Half Book
Susan Osborne – A Life In Books
Lucy Pearson – The Lit Edit
Lizzi Risch – These Little Words
See you soon for my final post on the award after the overall winner has been announced.
Bookish Chat xx