Yesterday, I had the immense honour of being present when the winners of the Inky Awards were announced, with authors Alice Pung, Claire Zorn, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Tozer and Melissa Keil in the room at the same time.
For those of you who don’t know, the Inky Awards are from a company called Inside A Dog. The idea for the name of this website is
Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog, it’s too hard to read.
Every year, they gather a panel of judges who choose a long-list of books, and then a shortlist. From this shortlist, a book is then chosen as the winner with votes from website visitors tallied.
Now the thing that makes the Inky Awards special is the fact that there are teen judges. I mean, YA fiction should be judged by YA readers right? And what group is more into YA than teenagers? There are a lot of adult reviewers out there saying: “oh these books are way too inappropriate. Totally not suitable for teenagers”. But then, adults aren’t the ones who read YA are they (not saying that they don’t, but they’re not the majority). So, Inside A Dog gathers a panel of teen judges from all over Australia to choose their favourite books. This year, the long-list was:
The books in the top row are running for golden award – best book from an Australian author. The books in the bottom row are running for silver – best international book. Chosen by a panel of 7 teen judges – this year included Melanie, the owner of YA Midnight Reads, which is one of the most successful YA Reviewing blogs of all time – the long-list is then whittled down to a shortlist of 5 in each row. This year, the panel (of which INCLUDED MELANIE OMG SHE IS LIKE YA REVIEWING ROYALTY) pushed it down to these books:
So yeah, that was where I found myself yesterday. Listening to Justine talk about stalking a gangster for “research”, and Melissa talk about apocalypses at an incredibly fast speed (I swear, Melissa Keil talks like she’s talking for her life). All the authors were hilarious, and left me that little bit more inspired.
Now to the winners….. congratulations to:
Gabrielle Tozer for winning Gold with her debut The Intern!
And Rainbow who won Silver with Fangirl!
Overall a great result, and a great night yesterday! I got to meet and talk to five authors and YA Reviewing royalty! Definitely recommended for any Melbournians next year. Come on down and maybe I’ll see you there 🙂