hkblogoAttention fellow young writers! Uncork your metaphorical ink pots, and sharpen your figurative quills. If you (like me) are between the ages of 18-25, you could win the fantastic opportunity to have your novel published.

Admittedly, I was a little late in finding about this competition (as it started on Thursday 20th June) nevertheless Hot Keys Books are offering you the chance to enter your unpublished stories (I’m hastening to get something together).

The competition is split into two categories:  Children’s and Young Adult, so now is the time for us to showcase our creativity for each respective genre!

Initial submissions are already being accepted, but to update any newcomers; send the first 4000 words of your story, as well as a short synopsis of the novel to youngwritersprize@hotkeybooks.com. The closing date for initial submissions is Monday 22nd July. If one of us is lucky enough to get through the first stage of the competition, twenty writers will be shortlisted, and the full manuscript requested for delivery on 28th October 2013. On January 6th 2014, a final five entries from both the children’s and the Young Adult categories will be sent to a judging panel and the winner will be announced at the London Book Fair 2014.

I wish you the very best of luck with your entries, and am looking forward to seeing what you guys produce!

Check out more information at: http://hotkeyblog.wordpress.com/young-writers-prize/

Happy writings!

By Danny Andrew-Lynch 




Author: Stephen Chbosky (Pub’d by Simon and Schuster; OUT NOW; Format – Print and Ebook)

Verdict: Lives up to the taglines of ‘moving’, ‘relatable, and ‘funny’. A great book for teenage readers.

Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower may have been written in the late nineties, but it’s amazing how popular this book has recently become. I really loved the film starring Emma Watson and Logan Lerman but, as with most adaptations, the book is far better.

Charlie, a high school freshman is sensitive and insecure. Extremely introverted, and unsure whether he will make friends, he meets a group of misfits, who soon turn out to be the best friends he’s ever had.

Despite Charlie’s freshman standing, Sam and Patrick (both seniors) dismiss the age difference and the three bond over their outsider status, thus making them Wallflowers. With the help of the older students, and his very encouraging English teacher, Charlie learns about music, literature, love and friendship, and the resulting emotional journey gives the novel a moving and affecting core.

The novel’s fundamental success lies within the fact that many teenagers will be able to relate to Charlie; the new discoveries of adolescence in the form of sex, drugs and ‘rock’n’roll’. These recognisable experiences coupled with his troubling childhood tragedies make Charlie an incredibly empathetic character.

Chbosky’s story is not too dissimilar to other coming-of-age novels such as Lock and Key (Sarah Dessen) or Looking for Alaska (John Green), but nevertheless, we are enamoured with the epistolary style in which the story is written. Charlie’s comforting letters to his ‘friend’ are the reader’s insight into the progression of his life; from a shy ‘nobody’ to a much loved ‘wallflower’. They effectively tell the story and warm the hearts of readers.

Overall, it’s a fantastic read, and I would definitely recommend it to all!


By Danny Andrew-Lynch