So the Inkys are over for another year, after setting a new record for the most votes. And after a very close race, the Golden Inky was awarded to Where the Streets Had a Name, by Randa Abdel-Fattah, while the Silver Inky went to The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, which beat out some stiff competition, not least of all Exposure by Mal Peet, Paper Towns by John Green, and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie.
My book Town won the Golden Inky last year, and the most gratifying thing about winning this prize was that it is voted for by teenage readers. And while good reviews are great, being affirmed by the audience for which one writes is even better. At risk of sounding corny, it's what makes us keep doing it.
It's also wonderful to see an organisation like the Centre for Youth Literature generating such interest amongst teen readers. I remember fondly one of my fellow judges, Steph Bowe (who was fifteen at the time) taking issue with someone in the audience at the NSW Writers Centre Writing for Children Conference, when this person attested that 'young people aren't reading anymore'. Steph turned around and publicly put her straight. And the ongoing success of the Inkys supports the view that young people are reading, and doing so in a discerning way.
(For Facebook Notes readers: this post is redirected from my 'head vs desk' blog at headvsdesk.blogspot.com)