April 19, 2014 by Lydia Syson
I’m not going to assume that everybody who reads this will instantly understand the title of this post, but I have a feeling that in twenty or thirty years time, someone, somewhere, will be writing a thesis about the phenomenon that is UKYA. And nobody will need an explanation.
Almost exactly two years ago, three indefatigable writers – Keris Stainton, Susie Day and Keren David – launched the groundbreaking UKYA site. Its tagline is ‘Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors’ and that’s exactly what it does: it’s a browsable showcase of novels set in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, or by writers based or born on these shores. I think it’s fair to say that it had its origins in the slight sense of despair many writers had that whenever you went into a bookshop, its YA/teen shelves were overwhelmingly dominated by US fiction. I also think that’s beginning to change, and this has partly been thanks to the incredible enthusiasm of UK teen book bloggers – a diverse and sociable crowd, some teenagers, some older, but all passionate about reading and spreading the word about the books they love.
Last September one of them, Lucy Powrie aka @LucytheReader, set up Project UKYA, and since then she’s been energetically organising monthly campaigns (or ‘projects’) to raise awareness of UK YA fiction and authors in all kinds of innovative and exciting ways. Today, #UKYADay, is her brainchild. It’s been heartwarming and inspiring to see the day-long celebrations on blogs and tweets (and just about every other form of social media too) from writers, readers and reviewers up and down the land. You’ll find book recommendations, giveaways, quizzes, reviews, interviews, discussion and general fanfare.
And best of all, this is just the start of it.
You’ll find the websites of many more of the bookbloggers who’ve done so much to promote UKYA by following the links on my review pages for A World Between Us and That Burning Summer. Thank you, everyone!
My own UKYADay treats are:
– the end of a nail-biting historical thriller, Vango.
(UKYA includes UK translations, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? Discuss….)