Celebrating Young Adult fiction by UK authors

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Best of British: Emily Gale

Emily GaleEmily Gale is the author of Girl, Aloud (soon to be published in the US as Girl Out Loud).
Here’s her pick of the Best of British

Place – My parents’ house in North London (this UKYA girl, based at the moment in Melbourne, is woefully homesick)

Girl, 15Book (adult)old: The L-Shaped Room by Lyne Reid Banks
new: A Kind of Intimacy by Jenn Ashworth

Book (teen)old: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

new: Girl, 15, Charming But Insane by Sue Limb

Book (kids)old: Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer
new: Mr Gum series by Andy Stanton

Personalitycontemporary: Jennifer Saunders

Royal – Prince Phillip, classic comedy villain

Museum – Keats House, Hampstead

Food – Curry, top takeaway in the UK for good reason

Singer/band – The Cure

TescoShop – Tesco (I said I was homesick, didn’t I? I love the self-service check-outs because it’s like playing shops)

TV programme – The Office

Film – Sense and Sensibility (Ang Lee), A Room With A View, and more recently The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Historical figure – Emmeline Pankhurst

Find out more at Emily Gale’s website.


Best of British: Non Pratt

Non Pratt is Commissioning Editor for Catnip Books, an independent publisher for children of all ages, from picture books to YA. Here are her Best of British.

Osmotherley, North Yorkshire is very pretty and has good pubs.

Book (adult)
Reflex by Dick Francis.

The Knife of Never Letting GoBook (teen)
The Knife of Never Letting Go, Patrick Ness (although who doesn’t know that?!). I tend to put this book in people’s hands and sob unintelligibly until they go away and read it.

Book (kids)
Footprints in the Snow by Mei Matsuoka is a great picture book to read using lots of silly voices and the artwork is perfect.

Personality – contemporary
*shrugs* I like Agyness Deyn’s hair…

Richard IIIRoyal
Richard III. Feel free to judge me on this – it’s indicative of my love of antiheroes.

John Soane’s Museum in Lincoln’s Fields, London.


Recently disbanded The King Blues were the most exciting and lyrically persuasive band I’ve listened to in a long while.

ECone on Exmouth Market for interesting jewellery. Or a bookshop (not so much for the jewellery).

Fresh MeatTV programme
No one does comedy like the British. Favourite recent pick would be Fresh Meat.

Dog Soldiers – Best. Film. Ever. Forget namby pamby American werewolves – these ones are the dogs’.

Historical figure
David Hume – a philosopher with a good writing style and exciting ideas.

I do like a bit of Ted Baker. But not too much.

Brigitte Williams – fantastic, graphic giclee work. And Stubbs. Gotta love Stubbs.

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Best of British: Blogger Nicky Schmidt

South African writer Nicky Schmidt blogs at  Absolute Vanilla  a great place to read YA interviews, reviews and Nicky’s thoughts. She’s picked her Best of British for UKYA.

YA author

Kevin Brooks

Book (teen)

Lucas by Kevin Brooks; Also Wasted by Nicola Morgan; Crossing the Line by Gillian Philip; How I live Now and There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

Book (kids)

The Crestomanci Series by Diana Wynne Jones, The Narnia Stories, The Secret Garden, The Little White Horse – and too many more to mention.


Hamleys (HUGE London toy shop)

TV programme

At the moment, Downton Abbey


Too many to list!


Vivienne Westwood, simply because she is so iconic!