Firstly, please forgive me for a self indulgent post but, as 2011 draws to a close, I felt that it was appropriate to look back on The Edge’s first year.If you’ve ever dipped into this blog you’ll already know that The Edge formed early in 2011. We came together as eight writers of sharp fiction for Young Adults and teens. Although our novels are diverse in genre and subject matter, we felt that what our work had in common was gripping, often challenging, tales that got teenagers reading and talking.
By banding together we hoped to offer Young Adults and people working with YAs, stimulating and thought-provoking workshops, panel events, author talks and more. In an age where there are such demands on young people’s time (and that’s just from the X- Box!) we wanted to make people excited about reading; we hoped to instigate debate and curiosity about stories with something to say.So we sent up our website, started posting weekly blogs (which we hope have provided some food for thought), we set up ‘Edge Authors T.V.’ and began putting out feelers to see if organisations working to promote reading to YAs would be interested in what we had to offer. I’m delighted to say, it seems that the answer is yes!
The Edge had their first official engagement at the annual SCBWI Conference in November. Here, several ‘Edgies’ provided a panel event on ‘Hooking Teen Readers’ and the pleasures and pitfalls of writing for teens. Overwhelmingly, feedback from people was that the event was fun, informative and stimulating. (see Bryony’s post 24th November)Also in November some of The Edge authors took part in a heat of the Kids’ Lit Quiz in London. A wonderful international event to get schools reading. (see Katie’s post 2nd Dec) .
Actually undertaking events as The Edge was an exciting milestone. After all our meetings, emails and mutual support it felt like things were really coming together and what we discovered (much to our relief) is that we worked well together; our diversity in personalities and opinions actually help to make events more energised and stimulating. And interest in Edge Events is gathering momentum. The word is spreading to Youth Librarians Groups, Booksellers, Festivals and Schools. We hope in 2012 The Edge will be playing a real part in getting Young Adults reading.
A review of The Edge’s 2011 wouldn’t be complete without touching on how our books are getting on. Savita Kalhan’s wonderful, The Long Weekend was published in 2010. This year Miriam Halhamy’s Hidden, Keren David’s, Lia’s Guide to Winning The Lottery, Bryony Pearce’s Angel’s Fury and my own The Truth About Celia Frost, were all published. I’m over the moon to report that each of our books received fantastic reviews from both critics and readers and all of them have been shortlisted/longlisted/nominated for Book Awards. To see details of who is up for what you can go to:www.wheniwasjoe.blogspot.com www.savitakalhan.com www.miriamhalahmy.com www.bryonypearce.co.uk www.celiafrost.co.uk
Eagerly awaited in 2012 are the publications of the first novels of Dave Cousins’ Fifteen Days Without a Head, Sara Grant’s Dark Parties and Katie Dale’s Someone Else’s Life. Also out in 2012, are Miriam Halahmy’s Illegal , Keren David’s Another Life and my second novel (sorry – I’m not telling you the title in case I change it!).