Sunday, 6 December 2015

The Young Muslim Writers Awards 2015

What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I have just returned from Senate House in London where the fifth Young Muslim Writers Awards 2015 was held.

Since 2008, the Muslim Hands charity has been championing young people’s development in the creative arts and literature. In 2010, the Young Muslim Writers Awards was established.

I have had the delightful task of judging the entries from all over the United Kingdom for every one of those five years. The Young Muslim Writers Awards has inspired and nurtured the creativity of thousands of wordsmiths through the competition and writing workshops. The Young Muslim Writers Awards encourages parents to champion their children’s writing and to let their talents flourish so they may go forth and become role models and ambassadors for the generation that follow.

Here’s some pics from the event. 

I was honoured to meet Ziaddin Yousafzai, the father of Malala Yousafzai. 
He and his wife were present to receive an award on behalf of their daughter. He made an impassioned speech about the need for women to write and be heard and also the important difference between education and indoctrination. 

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After the ceremony with Aminah Rahman who won the award for best poetry. 

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Embedded image permalinkWith the authors who supported the YMWA 2015: Tim Bowler, Anna Perera, Sita Brahmachari and Tamara Macfarlane from the Tales of Moon Lane bookshop in London.

Tim gave a wonderful speech about the writing process and how it never ends. Its a journey. 

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The sparkling host, my lovely inspiring friend, Shemiza Rashid. 

If you would like to know more about the YMWA, please click on the following link. 

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Inaugural Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award

I was delighted to be invited to the Pupil Library Assistant of the Year Award Ceremony on the 12th of March 2015. Held at the BT Centre in London, I was one of a number of authors who presented finalists with their certificate.  

Embedded image permalink First thing us authors did was pose for a selfie. 
With Dawn Finch, Lucy Coates and Teri Terry. 

The award was launched by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, School Libraries Group and the School Library Association. The aim was to showcase the incredible amount of voluntary work that is done by pupils regularly, who are reliable and committed, and who love reading and want to pass it onto others. There were sixty nominations from across the UK out of which seven finalists were chosen. The judging panel included Barbara Band, Sue Bastone, Annie Everall, Dawn Finch and Susan Staniforth. Five committed women I know who do amazing work for YA readership and libraries.

I presented on the day to Megan Gardner from King James’ School in Yorkshire. 
Megan said, 'I love books and I love people - bringing them together is my idea of utopia'.
What more can a school library expect!

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The other finalists:
  1. Morgan Boswell from Wilsthorpe Community School
  2. Olivia Bowes from Antrim Grammar School, County Antrim                            
  3. Francesca Hannay from Derby High School, Derbyshire
  4. Jessica Ince from Heritage High School
  5. James Kearney from The Kings’ School, Lincolnshire

The winner on the day was Abbie Craske from Alysham High School, Norfolk.
Here she is with Charlie Higson who presented her award.

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Finalists and authors including Tim Collins, Jeff Norton, Lucy Coates, Charlie Higson, Teri Terry, Caroline Lawrence and others.

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UKYA Easter Egg Hunt

Hello and welcome to the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt!

To those of you new to my blog, I am the author of Secrets of the Henna Girl, a YA novel published by Puffin. Here are some pictures of me on author visits with school pupils around the UK. 

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I’m delighted to be taking part in the UKYA Easter Egg Hunt.
As you know by now, one very lucky winner will win a huge grand prize of signed books by over thirty YA authors who write and live in the UK.

So read this blog, count up how many UKYA branded Easter eggs you see in the blog, and follow the link at the end to the next blog. Keep going until you get back to the blog where you started, and add up how many eggs you’ve seen along the way.

Email your answer to: A winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries, and contacted by email.

This closes at noon (UK time) on Sunday, 5th April, and is open internationally. 

So get finding those eggs! And some awesome UKYA authors and books along the way.

Good luck!

Here is the next blog you need to go to: