Last Saturday saw the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards take place at Waterstone's Kensington. It was an awesome night, despite not winning in my category. This isn't going to be a proper recap, other bloggers have done a far better job of that than I could now, writing this several days later, but I do want to talk about the evening, and what it means.
Despite the fact that I found it a little awkward personally*, the night itself was a real eye-opener. Ten specific blogs won awards, but it wasn't a night about individuals, it was a night about this incredible community we're all a part of. As I didn't know 95% of the people there, I didn't realise just how many of those people weren't bloggers, but actual authors and publishing people there to support and thank the bloggers. There were so many more authors at the event than I realised! I only discovered after the event, when photos went up on Twitter, that those people were authors - I know names, but not faces. In attendance were Alexia Casale, Eve Ainsworth, Abi Elphinstone, Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison, A. J. Carriger, Lisa Williamson, S. C. Ransom, Natasha Desborough, Sara Grant, Lucy Saxon, Keris Stainton, Liz de Jager, James Dawson, Sarwat Chadda, and Jonathan Stroud (the last four I knew, because I either heard people saying who they were, I already knew what they looked like, or I actually know them). It's quite possible I've missed some out, but even if I haven't, 16 authors is pretty freaking awesome! They were all there because of us!
And that's not even counting the people from various publishers and Andy Robb, author and organiser of this incredible event. There were quite a fair number of them! There was a representative of each publisher sponsoring each award who came up to present the award (sometimes an author representing the publisher), and all these people, including Andy Robb, said such amazing things about bloggers. Being in that room at that time, there was absolutely no way anyone could doubt the worth of each book blogger, the genuine enthusiasm for celebrating and acknowledging us, the genuine gratitude for what we do, and even the awe. Ten people won awards, but you could feel the love for every blogger part of this brilliant community, and it was just amazing.
It was brilliant to be nominated, it was fantastic to be shortlisted, and it was amazing to be there that night, celebrating all of us and what we do. A massive congratulations to everyone who won an award (listed below), and a huge, huge thank you to all the authors, publishers and publicists who nominated and voted, who attended the event to support us all. Also a huge, huge thank you to Andy Robb for making the UKYA Blogger Awards a reality and leading the ship. And huge, huge thank you also to my brilliant Dad and my wonderful boss, the Head of the Children's Department at Foyles, Jo, who came to the event to support me!
I am so incredibly proud to be part of this amazing community. We're all made of awesome :)
Queen of Contemporary, BookishBrits, Benjamin of Tomes, Dark Readers
Champion of Social Media:
YA Yeah Yeah, Bookclub Forum, Winged Reviews, Pewter Wolf
Champion Teen Blogger:
Queen of Contemporary, Mile Long Bookshelf, Thirst for Fiction, Cheezy Feet Books, Cic Loves Books
Champion Adult Blogger:
Fluttering Butterflies, Writing from the Tub, Sister Spooky, Wondrous Reads, An Awful Lot of Reading, Book Angel Booktopia, Narratively Speaking, Readaraptor, Serendipity Reviews, Overflowing Library
Champion of Diversity in YA:
YA Yeah Yeah, Queer YA, Pewter Wolf, Luna's Little Library
Champion of YA:
Queen of Contemporary, Sister Spooky, Snuggling on the Sofa, Readaraptor, Serendipity Reviews, Once Upon a Bookcase, OverflowingLibrary
Champion of Content:
Luna's Little Library, Readaraptor, Serendipity Reviews, Mountains of Instead, Book Passion for Life
Mile Long Bookshelf, Writing from the Tub, Books4Teens, Sister Spooky, Book Angel Booktopia Readaraptor, Serendipity Reviews, Overflowing Library, Winged Reviews, Pewter Wolf
Blogger of the Year:
Books4Teens, Wondrous Reads, Serendipity Reviews, Overflowing Library, YA Yeah Yeah
Tales of Yesterday, Chrissi Reads, Perks of Being a Book Girl, Always that Book Addict
*I didn't know most of the people there, and those I did know were in groups with other people, so I didn't want to force my company on them, or abandon my dad who had come to support me. With there being such a large group of people, the shyness I thought I had shedded many years ago came right back, so I just stood back. Plus I was all dressed up, and despite not caring about possibly being one of the only people to do so, I did when I was there.