Meet The 7 Female Authors Shortlisted For Yoto Carnegie Medal For Writing

Carnegie Medal
The Yoto Carnegie Medal for Writing has an all-female shortlist with seven authors, including Sita Brahmachari and Jessie Burton.

The Yoto Carnegies honour exceptional work in children’s literature and illustration and are assessed by children’s and youth librarians. Children and young people also cast their votes for the Shadowers’ Choice Medals, which are given out as part of the Yoto Carnegies.

Young adult literature dominates the all-female shortlist for this year’s Carnegie Prize for Writing, which also marks first shortlisting for writers Jessie Burton, Patrice Lawrence, Sita Brahmachari, and Manon Steffan Ros.

7 Authors Shortlisted For Carnegie Medal For Writing

Katya Balen

Katya Balen is a co-director of Mainspring Arts and a writer. Her debut novel, The Space We’re In, was highly commended for the Branford Boase Award 2020, and her second book, October, October, was published in the same year to critical acclaim.

October, October won last year’s prize and Balen was shortlisted this year for her book The Light In Everything is a story about blended families.

The novel is Tom and Zofia’s tale. Even though his father has been behind bars for almost two years, Tom is reserved and cautious and is only now beginning to feel secure. Contrarily, Zofia does not. There is a constant storm brewing inside of her that makes her want to run, yell, and battle the world to get what she wants.

Sita Brahmachari

Sita Brahmachari is one of the most prominent voices in children’s literature today, having received the Waterstones Children’s Book Award with her debut Artichoke Hearts. Her novels have been shortlisted for the UKLA Book Award, nominated for the Carnegie Medal, and translated into several languages worldwide. She is currently working as a Writer in Residence at the Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants. Sita and her family live in London.

She was shortlisted for When Shadows Fall, which follows a group of friends who spent their younger years playing in the little piece of green space in the middle of a vast, drab metropolis where they all lived. Up until the protagonist’s family experiences a significant loss, they are connected by music, laughter, and friendship and have enormous aspirations for the future.

Jessie Burton

Jessica Kathryn Burton is a writer and actor from England. She had written four novels by 2022, The Miniaturist, The Muse, The Confession, and The House of Fortune, as well as two books for children, The Restless Daughters and Medusa. All four adult novels were bestsellers in the Sunday Times.

Burton was shortlisted for Medusa, a retelling of the tale from Greek mythology.

With the exception of the snakes that decorate her head in place of hair, Medusa is alone on the remote island where she was banished after being mistreated by mighty Gods. She is forced to accept her present—Medusa the Monster—because she is plagued by flashbacks of a past before everything was taken from her. Nevertheless, her lonely existence is upended when the charming and gorgeous Perseus shows up on the island, unleashing passion, love, and betrayal.

Louise Finch

Louise Finch is a young adult contemporary fiction author with speculative elements. The Eternal Return of Clara Hart, her debut young adult novel, was released by Little Island in August 2022. She has spent over a decade working in the non-profit sector on topics such as women’s rights and health.

In the book, although Spence and Anthony had been friends for a long time, it isn’t until he sees a classmate die in what appears to be a sad accident at a house party that a blip in time allows Spence to finally ‘see’ Anthony.

Spence is given a second chance when he awakens on the same day and discovers Clara, the dead girl, alive and healthy. A third, too. And a fourth.

Spence strives to stop the disastrous events of the party while trapped in a loop and forced to repeat the same 24 hours.

To break the hold, he must reconsider all he previously took for granted and muster the guts to admit his and others’ role in the events that distinguished Clara Hart’s life and death.

Patrice Lawrence

Patrice Lawrence is a British writer and journalist who has written both adult and children’s fiction. Her work has been recognised with honours such as the Waterstones Children’s Book Award for Older Children and The Bookseller YA Book Prize.

Needle is Patrice Lawrence’s compelling and heartbreaking study of a teenager’s journey through bereavement, wrath, and being entangled in the criminal justice system.

Charlene is an expert knitter. It’s the one thing she likes and feels she’s particularly excellent at. Charlene loses it when her foster mother’s kid smashes her newest work and stabs him in the hand with her knitting needle. That causes nerve damage, and she is dragged into the criminal court system for assault. Charlene isn’t sorry, and she’s never apologised to anyone. Others keep promising her that if she apologises, they would be kinder to her. Can she force herself to say it and not mean it when her life is on the line?

Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys is a Lithuanian-American historical fiction author. She is a New York Times and international best-selling novelist who received the Carnegie Medal. She is a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellow and the first American young adult author to address the European Parliament and NATO.

Sepetys was shortlisted for I Must Betray You, which is based on real events of the Romanian revolution of 1989. The protagonist Cristian Florescu, 17, aspires to be a writer, but Romanians are not free to do so; they are constrained by regulations and compulsion. Cristian is coerced by the secret police to become an informer during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s totalitarian rule in a country dominated by isolation and dread. He has just two options: betray everyone and everything he cares about, or utilise his position to ingeniously destroy Eastern Europe’s most notoriously cruel tyrant.

Manon Steffan Ros

Manon Steffan Ros is a novelist, dramatist, game author, scriptwriter, and musician from Wales. She has written over twenty children’s books and three adult novels, all in Welsh.

The Blue Book of Nebo was originally published in Welsh and is follows Dylan and his mother after technology disappears and people are forced to revert to the old ways of living to survive.

Despite their intimate bond, the mother-son relationship evolves gradually as Dylan assumes adult responsibilities. They each have their own secrets, which they reveal when they pen down their thoughts and recollections in a discovered notebook dubbed the Blue Book of Nebo.

Suggested reading: Women’s Prize Trust To Launch “Women’s Prize Award” For Non-Fiction Female Writers