Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Stories from The Edge Blog Tour Round-up

In case you missed it — here is a handy round-up of all of the stops on our recent Stories from The Edge blog tour.

Find out why a visit to a local school scared Bryony Pearce 'half to death' and inspired her to write Face2Face at YA YEAH YEAH

Paula Rawsthorne's interview with

Dave Cousins reveals the inspiration for Magpie Soup at

Sara Grant takes the power of the short story to

Savita Kalhan talks genies with

Miriam Halahmy discusses peace with

Keren David explains how a character from one of her novels demanded his own story to the BIBLIOMANIAC

Katie Dale delves into the darker side of social media with

Huge thanks to all the bloggers for hosting a spot on the tour. 

Click here to read more about Stories from The Edge, or here to buy a copy.

Thanks and happy reading, The Edge.

Monday, 18 July 2016

Publication day: Stories from the Edge

The Edge is proud to announce that our anthology of eight short stories, Stories from the Edge, written by eight award-winning UK YA authors with the aim of entertaining, enticing and educating, is now available to buy from Amazon, Albury books, or Browns Books for Students.

We wanted our anthology to be both something that teens can dip in and out of for fun, as well as something that could be used as an educational tool in the classroom. Therefore, alongside our stories, which cover issues such as internet safety, bereavement, terrorism, racism and drug taking, we have produced teaching notes (including discussion points and facts), which are available to download for free.

Stories from The Edge isn't afraid to ask some big questions. Sometimes frightening, often funny, always brutally honest, these stories will take you to where the shadows are darkest and the ground drops away. The question is, are you prepared to look over the edge?

For more information on each story, do follow our blog tour. In our first one, on July 19th, Bryony Pearce tells YA Yeah Yeah exactly why she chose to write about Internet safety.

We hope you enjoy reading our stories as much as we enjoyed writing them.

Do contact us if you would like more information.
The Edge.

Friday, 15 July 2016

A brand new collection of gripping, thought-provoking short stories from The Edge . . .

From the perils of online chat rooms, doping in sport, racism and terrorism, to gender and self-esteem issues, love, life and deathStories from The Edge isn't afraid to ask some big questions.

Sometimes frightening, often funny, always brutally honest, these stories will take you to where the shadows are darkest and the ground drops away.

The question is . . . are you prepared to look over the edge?

Out now in paperback and eBook.

“The short story is a very powerful weapon in the hands of a librarian or teacher . . . I guarantee that these stories will leave readers gasping for more. But most importantly they will get teen readers thinking and talking.” — Joy Court, Chair: CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals; Reviews Editor: The School Librarian

Discussion Guides for exploring each of the stories with students are available as a FREE PDF downloads.
Click the links below to download the guides.

If you have any problems downloading the files, please email: edgewriters(AT)yahoo.co.uk

We hope you enjoy our Stories from The Edge!

Monday, 4 July 2016


Here it is!

With a special introduction from Joy Court, Chair of CILIP Carnegie Children's Book Award - "I guarantee that these stories will leave readers gasping for more..."

Stories from The Edge is available in paperback and eBook from 15th July 2016.

We're going on a blog tour too!

More details soon...

Monday, 30 May 2016

Something's Coming From the Edge...

Over the last year the Edge authors have been working on a very exciting idea! 

It was an idea that grabbed us all. It made us think about writing in a different form, a form that might be interesting and exciting for us as well as teen readers, young adult readers, schools, libraries, and pretty much anyone who loves to read teen or young adult fiction.

We've almost reached the final stages of taking the original idea and developing it into something new and different.

Things we can tell you now:
There will be books!
There will be events!
There will be EIGHT stories!

But keep it under your hat for now.

Much more will be revealed later, so stay tuned...

Friday, 15 April 2016

Chasing an idea

EDGE Author Sara Grant shares the evolution of her new series Chasing Danger

When I visit schools, I’m often asked, “How long does it take to write a book?” My answer: A lifetime.

And that is literally true of my new action-adventure series for teens – Chasing Danger.

I wrote my first story when I was eight years old. It wasn’t an assignment. A story popped into my brain and begged to be written. The story was titled “A Dream I Wish Was True” and was about how eight-year-old me got to meet my favourite movie star. I dedicated it to that actress – the late, great Farrah Fawett Majors.

As you might have guessed I was a super fan of the TV show Charlie’s Angels. It had smart, strong, feisty – and yeah, gorgeous – women at the heart of the action. I’ve always wanted to write a story that would give middle grade readers the same experience I had when I watched Jill, Kris, Kelly and Sabrina in the 1970s – and I think I’ve accomplished it with Chasing Danger.

This new series combines smart, strong, feisty girl heroes with exotic locations and lots of action and adventure.

About Chasing Danger
“I couldn’t shake the feeling that this vacation might actually kill me.”
When fourteen-year-old Chase Armstrong is sent to visit her grandmother at a remote tropical resort, she’s looking forward to sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The last thing she expects is danger. But she’s in for some surprises. She discovers another girl hiding out on the island and uncovers a devastating secret about the mum she’s never known. When modern-day pirates attack the island, it’s up to Chase to outrun, out-think and outfight the pirates . . . before it’s too late!
For me, writing a book is like piecing together a puzzle. I know how I want the final project to ‘look’, but finding the right characters, plot and setting takes patience, persistence and imagination. Over the years, I’ve experimented with many mysteries, thrillers and action plots. It never really fell into place until now.
When I speak to wannabe writers – whether they ten or sixty years old – I always encourage them to make their writing personal. Why are you writing this story and why are you the only person who can write it? When searching for an idea, I ask writers:
O     What are two or three of your favourite books, movies or TV programmes?
O     What genre of story do you prefer?
O     What are your hobbies or talents (or what do you wish they were)?
O     Where is your favourite place or the place you’d most like to visit?
O     What issues or topics are you passionate about?
I ask them to mine their answers to these questions for a story idea. For example, if the response to the first question is Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. How can you combine what you love about these stories to spark an idea? If you are writing for children/teens, you might want to respond to these questions as if you were the age of your reader.
If you are testing an idea or wondering what to write next, I always recall this quote from Oscar-winner Akiva Goldsman from The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters:
“The trick is to be connected to the material of your imagination, thematically and concretely, write what interests you because if you’re not fascinated and excited by the writing of the script, the reader won’t be fascinated and excited by the reading of it. Try to find something in the idea that speaks to your own life, something you think is authentic, true, compelling in your story.”
I’m having a blast writing Chasing Danger. I hope that my passion and enjoyment is somehow infused into each page. And if you're a writer, I wish you the same experience

About Sara
Sara Grant has worked on both sides of the editorial desk. She has inspired and edited nearly 100 books for children. Last week Chasing Danger – her new action-adventure series for tweens – was published by Scholastic. Her two YA novels – Dark Parties (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, Europe) and Half Lives – are futuristic thrillers. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers – Magic Trix. She leads writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe as part of Book Bound and lectures at Goldsmiths. Website: www.sara-grant.com Twitter: @authorsaragrant

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Recapturing the Joy – Windrunner’s Daughter

by Bryony Pearce

Every book provides its author with unique moments of satisfaction, but the first time an aspiring writer sees their name in print is extraordinarily special.

For me that moment was eight years ago when I received my copy of the SCBWI book Undiscovered Voices 2008. In that book was the opening of the very first novel I ever completed, Windrunner’s Daughter.

That feeling of having a dream fulfilled is one that I’ve never quite recaptured and has left me feeling wistful every time I see a new debut author. I’m jealous, not of their success, but of the fact that they are living that moment, enjoying that unrepeatable high. 

Since Undiscovered Voices I have written five more books. Each novel has given me joy and taught me something new, but Windrunner’s Daughter was the special one. My first. My first idea, the first time I realised that I could sit and write a whole novel, the first time I received praise for my writing from professionals. This was the novel that taught me how to write.

I didn’t do courses, I never joined a critique group, or writing group, I didn’t go to conferences or events, I didn’t even buy a book on ‘how to write’. Instead I learned to write by writing. More specifically by writing Windrunner’s Daughter.

It wasn’t very good. I see that now. My basic idea was great, but my writing wasn’t. I hadn’t plotted properly, I overwrote terribly, I was trying to do too many things in one novel.

The message I really wanted to convey was a feminist one – that girls could do anything they set their mind to (I’m sick of hearing otherwise) – and that was getting lost in all the other stuff I was trying to say.

When my daughter started growing up, that the core message of Windrunner’s Daughter became more important to me than ever, and so I pulled it out and took another look.

Then I threw it away.

I literally rewrote the entire novel from scratch. I kept my basic idea, but pretty much everything else went. I used what I had learned in writing my other five novels, I plotted carefully, I kept focus on my main message and I wrote a book that felt right.

And now, exactly eight years to the day after I first saw my name over the title Windrunner’s Daughter, the novel is in print. It is a science fiction story, set on a semi-terraformed Mars, about a girl who has to save her family, and perhaps her whole society, by defying the patriarchy that wants to keep her in her place.

What am I saying with this final blog post of mine? Whatever you aspire to do, keep trying, never give up – you can do whatever you set your mind to. Remember your moments of joy and keep working to recapture them. And hell, read my newest / oldest book:



Friday, 29 January 2016

And the Costa Book of the Year is - a Children's Book! Savita Kalhan

Hooray! Frances Hardinge has not only won the Costa Children's Book award but also the Costa Book of the Year award for her novel The Lie Tree!

The last time a children's book won the Costa Book of the Year was fifteen years ago in 2001 when Philip Pullman won with his novel, The Amber Spyglass, which is part of His Dark Materials series.

Hardinge describes her novel as a "Victorian Gothic mystery with added palaeontology, blasting powder, post-mortem photography and feminism".  At its heart, The Lie Tree is a children's book, and as Frances Hardinge says - most of her books are written for herself as a 12 year old.

Her win is important for so many reasons, not least because when she was interviewed on Radio 4, she was asked by the interviewer what winning the 'proper' prize meant to her. I'm not sure whether the interviewer meant that the Children's Prize was improper in some way, or just not as important or meaningful...

So why is it an important win, apart from the fact that the book explores issues that a scientifically-minded, very intelligent 14 year old girl in a Victorian age faces at a time when girls had little or no say in the world, much less in the scientific community?

Over the years, teen and young adult fiction has been seen as unliterary and lightweight, and because it caters for children, it therefore cannot be deemed worthy of winning a 'proper' prize. Writers of teen fiction are often asked whether they think they might be the next JK Rowling, or whether they might eventually write a 'proper grown up' book, so for a book like The Lie Tree to become part of mainstream literary fiction will open hearts and minds to the fact that children's fiction is eminently readable, as enjoyable, and as good as other 'grown up' books is great.

Follow Savita on Twitter
Savita's website

Friday, 22 January 2016

Celebrating SCBWI British Isles 20th Anniversary

EDGE Author Sara Grant owes a debt of gratitude to SCBWI and its Members

I wouldn’t be published if it wasn’t for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). This year the British chapter of SCBWI turns 20. I thought I’d take this opportunity to express my gratitude to this organization and its amazing members and volunteers.

The SCBWI is a network for the exchange of knowledge among writers, illustrators, editors, publishers, agents, librarians, educators, booksellers and others involved with literature for young people. SCBWI boasts more than 22,000 members worldwide in more than seventy regions, making it the largest children’s writing organization in the world.

In 1994 I attended my first workshop on writing children’s fiction, lead by the incredible Elaine Marie Alphin. I left inspired with a notebook full of ideas. She said that if I was serious about writing for children I should join SCBWI -- which I immediately did.

From then on, I have regularly attended events and volunteered for this organization on both sides of the Atlantic.

Here are 20 reasons I’m grateful for SCBWI.

Thanks to…

1.      Natascha Biebow. She’s served the British SCBWI as its regional advisor (RA) for more than
18 years. The British Chapter started with twenty members and under her leadership has grown to nearly 1,000 members. She is the longest-tenured international RA with the fourth largest chapter worldwide.

2.      Natascha again because she handed a copy of the British SCBWI’s Undiscovered Voices 2008 anthology to literary agent Jenny Savill at the Bologna Book Fair in 2008. Jenny read the extract from Dark Parties, which was included in the anthology, and gave me a call. I signed with her a few months later.

3.      My US Writers Group. At an SCBWI event around about 1995, I met three Indiana writers who would become my critique and support group until I moved to London in 2003. They survived my early kids stories, which I hope they have long-since forgotten. A regular critique group was key to establishing a habit of writing and an ability to take feedback.

4.      My UK Writers Group. One of the first things I did when I moved to the UK was connect to the local SCBWI and join a writers group. The group members changed and the monthly meetings have dwindled to periodic one-to-ones, but those writers introduced me to the British SCBWI and were my first friends in the UK.

5.      Lin Oliver and Stephen Mooser. They are the visionaries who started SCBWI in the US in 1971 and continue to guide its progress.

Thanks for…

6.      Lifelong friends. I have many cherished friendships with the writers and illustrators I met through SCBWI.  

7.      Encouragement. Whether its face-to-face at an event, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. SCBWI members understand the highs and lows of publishing and never fail to offer encouragement.

8.      Knowledge. I never leave an SCBWI event without a notebook full of ideas, facts and to-dos.

9.      Inspiration. I’ve met almost all of my literary heroes at SCBWI events. I have shelves full of signed books and a head full of inspirational quotes to keep me going.

10.  Community. What could be better than gathering with people who love what you love?

11.  Industry News. Through regular emails, newsletters and a yahoo group, I keep up on what’s happening in the publishing world.

The Mass Book Launch Celebration
12.  The Annual Conference. It’s one glorious weekend in November that’s action-packed with speakers, celebrations, networking and fellowship.

13.  Networking. Whether at the agent’s party or the mass book launch, you have an opportunity to meet folks from every aspect of the publishing world.

14.  Networks. No matter where you live in the UK, an SCBWI group is never far away.

15.  Worldwide Connections. And no matter where you go in the world, you can find SCBWI chapters.

16.  PULSE (SCBWI’s resources for its published members). SCBWI grows with its members, offering nuts and bolts sessions for those just starting out to PULSE events for writers and illustrators who have new challenges and opportunities once they are published.

The 2014 Undiscovered Voices writers, illustrators & planning team.
17.  Undiscovered Voices. It was my stepping stone to finding an agent, a publisher and ultimately readers.

18.  Undiscovered Voices. It’s a huge part of my life. It’s how I give back and help other writers and illustrators achieve their publishing dreams. Last week we announced the writers and illustrators who are featured in the fifth anthology. From the previous four anthologies, 32 writers and illustrators have received contracts for more than one 120 books in more than 70 countries. I couldn’t be more proud.

And finally…

19.  Volunteer! Volunteer for SCBWI because it’s what makes the organization so amazing. The British chapter hosts so many events a year. It has a web site, Facebook group, newsletter and much more. Everything is run by volunteers. Volunteer because it’s a way to give back to an organization that will give you so much.

20.  Volunteer!! If not for a philanthropic reason, volunteer because it’s a great away to network. You can host an event with an author you admire or set up critiques with your dream agent.

Thanks SCBWI -- for all of the above and so much more.

   About Sara…
Sara Grant has worked on both sides of the editorial desk. She has inspired and edited nearly 100 books for children. Her two YA novels – Dark Parties (SCBWI Crystal Kite Award winner, Europe) and Half Lives – are futuristic thrillers. She also writes a funny magical series for young readers – Magic Trix. Sara is currently developing a new action-adventure series for tweens with Scholastic. Chasing Danger will be published in April. She leads writing workshops in the US, UK and Europe as part of BookBound and lectures at the University of Winchester and Goldsmiths. Website: www.sara-grant.com Twitter: @authorsaragrant

    Book Bound is now accepting applications for its 2016 retreat for adults who are interested in writing novels for children and teens. It’s an intensive weekend of workshops, one-to-ones, and camaraderie. Visit the Book Bound web site for more details: www.bookboundretreat.com