As you probably are already aware, the overall winner of The Sunday Times/Peters Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer Of The Year Award in association with The University Of Warwick is Adam Weymouth for Kings Of The Yukon – An Alaskan River Journey (published by Particular) a non-fiction account of his trip down the Yukon River in a canoe, following the story of the King Salmon (or chinook as they are known).
Unfortunately I couldn’t be there at the awards night held at The London Library on Thursday night but I was avidly following events as they unfolded on Twitter.
When I first saw that a non-fiction travel book was on the shortlist I was a little trepidatious to say the least. This book was so far out of my comfort zone. However, I just needed to open my tiny mind and embrace the Alaskan river life because I ended up enjoying the book far more than I thought I would and now consider myself somewhat of an expert about the ins and outs of a salmon…….well I at least know more than I did when I used to just reach for a hermetically sealed pack of fillets from the supermarket fridges.
It was lovely to hear Adam speak at the event at the Groucho in December. It’s always a huge privilege to hear an author reading their own words.
As you already know, the author chosen by the shadow panel as our winner was Imogen Hermes Gowar for her historical fiction romp The Mermaid And Mrs Hancock so it was interesting that we had differing views to the judges Kamila Shamsie, Susan Hill and Andrew Holgate.
This whole experience for me has been such a huge pleasure and a massive privilege. I have attended awesome book events, read some books outside of my comfort zone and met some lovely people along the way.
I’ll never forget my time as a Sunday Times literary judge (that’s what I’m calling myself!) and I will be forever grateful that I had this opportunity.
A huge thank you to everyone involved. The organisers who talked us through the judging process and my fellow shadow panelists.
And finally of course, a huge congratulations to winner Adam Weymouth!
See you all soon.
Bookish Chat xx