This is the WASTED BLOG. For my main author website, click this link.

Awards: WASTED won the Read it or Else category in the Coventry Award and was runner-up in the North East Book Award. It is longlisted for the Carnegie Medal and shortlisted for the Manchester, Grampian, Angus, and RED Awards.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


To celebrate the fact that Wasted is on another happifying award shortlist - a secret just now ;-) - I am announcing a competition, open to all readers aged under 18 and living in the UK. Would you like the chance to see your writing published on this blog and to win a signed book?

The best entries will be published here and the best three will win a signed book. You may think hardly anyone reads this blog - actually, they do, because I can see the stats! Lots of people come over from Twitter as well, so your words could be read by hundreds of people.

So, what is the task? Simply tell us what you thought of Wasted. Like a review, but don't say what it's about - just your feelings and opinions. Anything you want to say about it. Try to capture the mood of the book and try to say the things you think are most important or interesting about it. You can be as creative as you like: it could be a diary or a poem or a conversation or just a brilliant piece of writing which gives your thoughts. I'm looking for something special, something that captures what I think Wasted is like, but also shows something of your personal response. You don't have to say everything you thought - choose the bits you feel like saying. Let your personality shine in your writing.

Here are the rules:
  1. Two age categories: 11-13 and 14-17. (On November 1st 2010.) Please put your age on your entry.
  2. Your piece should not be longer than 100 words. (I won't be picky about this, but try not to go over 80).
  3. Email your entry to me at and put REVIEW COMP in the subject line. Don't send the review as an attachment - put it in the email, please.
  4. I will reply to the email you send your review from so make sure it's an address you will be able to check. 
  5. Please include a name in your email. It can be a made-up name if you like. I will NOT publish any names until I have had your permission but I will ask that later. Do NOT send me your postal address at this stage.
  6. If you are one of the three winners, I will contact you and ask for an address. If you are under 16, you will need to check with an adult before you give me your address. It will be possible to give a school address instead. Again, we will work this out later.
  7. If you are one of the writers whose piece is chosen for publication on the blog, I will contact you and ask your permission and then I will ask what name you want to use.
  8. The DEADLINE for entries is NOV 1st.
  9. I will ask another adult to be the judge. His or her decision will be final.
  10. Each of the three prize-winners will be able to choose from any of my books and I will post it, signed, to any UK address.
Any questions? Add a comment below.

PLEASE tell all your friends. If you're an adult, please tell any young people or schools that you are in touch with. I hope for lots of entries and lots of interest!

Now, get writing... And enjoy it! I want you to have lots of fun and freedom with your thoughts on this.

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