Guess who’s shortlisted for The Ampersand Prize?
You know how I wrote a novel? And its name is Anomalies? And it’s a steampunk adventure story for 11-14-year-olds about a feral orphan, a prodigy inventor, a wicked dictator and a swarm of giant crab-robot police? And there are secret conspiracies, and underground rebels, and machines that make tea for you, and cassowaries so big you can ride on them, and lots of shiny things that go clinkety-clank?
Well, I sent it to publisher Hardie Grant Egmont.
AND THEY LIKED IT.
This blog is so new that I haven’t even had a chance to explain what Anomalies is or how I came to write it or anything. To any of you reading who aren’t personal friends or relations, I apologise, and I will fill you in as soon as I can. Right now, I am on holiday in Vietnam, so it’ll be a while before I’m able to explain. Basically, I developed it for a couple of years and wrote it in two and now ACTUAL REAL PROFESSIONALS HAVE SEEN IT and they said it was GORGEOUS and WONDERFUL and I AM EXPLODING!
I’m not sure how much I’m allowed to reveal at this stage. The Ampersand Prize is an annual award for unpublished middle-grade and young adult fiction. The winner gets a publishing deal with Hardie Grant Egmont. This year, there were over a hundred and fifty submissions, and six shortlisted writers.
One of whom is me.
I mean, I am very much a baby, in writer terms. Everyone knows twenty-three-year-olds are terrible writers! How is this happening?
Anyway, the winner won’t be announced until January, so until then, my gutful of butterflies and I will be indulging in ridiculous fantasies of international kid-lit stardom. In the meantime, here’s a moody drawing of Rik Umborwin and Phaedra Kepley in their natural habitats.