I'm a very happy writer today. I have dreamt of moments like this and finally it happened. Yes, Wasted has been nominated for the Carnegie Medal, the king of all book awards. Now, the longlist is always a long list, but the Carnegie longlist is special enough that writers put it on their books and websites, even if they never get further. It's a prize in itself and I am absolutely thrilled. The big names are all there and I'm so pleased that Wasted is with them.
Unlike some other awards, publishers don't put books forward for the Carnegie, so it's a much fairer system. Other prizes, such as the Booktrust Teenage Award, rely on publishers deciding to put a book forward, and sometimes publishers don't enter the books you might expect. But the Carnegie is entirely down to enthusiasm from librarians around the UK, the people who really understand books and young readers.
So, to the librarians who loved Wasted enough to choose it for the prestigious longlist, I am hugely, hugely grrateful. I did actually scream when I saw that it was selected. And you've stopped me being able to concentrate ever since, so thanks for that...
Thank you to everyone who has given me such encouragement during what some of you know has been a difficult year. Things are really looking up now.