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Press release: 2022 Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist announced

Scottish Book Trust, the national charity changing lives through reading and writing, has revealed today the shortlist for the 2022 Scottish Teenage Book Prize. The three titles chosen by the panel include Fin & Rye & Fireflies by Harry Cook (Black & White Publishing), The Infinite by Patience Agbabi (Canongate Books) and The Infinity Files by S.M. Wilson (‎Usborne Publishing).

The Scottish Teenage Book Prize, now in its sixth year, was set up to celebrate the most popular teen books by authors and publishers in Scotland. It is run by Scottish Book Trust with support from Browns Books and Creative Scotland. Shortlisted authors receive £500 and the winner receives £3,000.

Fin & Rye & Fireflies follows a sixteen year-old boy as he moves to a new town and falls in love, but struggles with his family’s attempts at conversation therapy. The Infinite is the story of Elle, a ‘Leapling’ – one of the special children born on 29 February who possess The Gift of moving through time. The Infinity Files features Ash, a failed starfighter pilot who must secretly planet-hop through the galaxies, stealing or returning treasures that have the power to stop wars – or start them.

Scottish Book Trust encourages teenagers of all ages to read the three shortlisted books and vote as part of their class, book group or individually by Friday 25 March 2022.Those who participate in voting will also receive Young Scot points.

To find out more about the shortlisted titles, readers can use Bookzilla, a free app for early secondary school students in Scotland. Young people can receive tailored book recommendations, see what is popular among their classmates and challenge themselves to try something new with a reading dare. The app promotes different featured collections every month and is available to download on the app store or Google Play.

The panel for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize included librarians, booksellers, authors and Scottish Book Trust staff. The winning title will be announced on Wednesday 4 May 2022, in an exclusive video available to classes who are registered to vote. Young people can register to vote online via Scottish Book Trust’s website: scottishbooktrust.com/stbp.

Marc Lambert, CEO of Scottish Book Trust, said:

'Many congratulations to all the authors on the Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist. It’s exciting to see a range of genres on this year’s shortlist, from space operas to time-travellers. We hope the teenagers of Scotland enjoy reading this year’s shortlist and we look forward to the result of the vote.'

Claire Smith, Sales Manager for Browns Books, said:

'Browns Books are proud to have a long-standing and active relationship with Scottish Book Trust, and we are thrilled to see such diverse and exciting novels on the Shortlist. We eagerly await the result of the vote to see who will win this year’s Scottish Teenage Book Prize.'

Quotes and information on the shortlisted titles

Born in the UK, Harry Cook is an Australian actor and international LGBTQI+ activist. He has starred in major film, TV and theatre productions, including the lead opposite Geena Davis in Accidents Happen. In 2013, at age 22, Harry came out to his fans on YouTube. The video went viral, and Harry became front-page news in Australia, the UK and the US. Harry lives in Sydney.

Harry Cook said:

'Writing this book was a love letter to all of the queer stories I wish I had read when I was growing up and coming to terms with my sexuality and I couldn’t be more honoured to have Fin & Rye & Fireflies on the shortlist for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize alongside these amazingly talented authors.'

Patience Agbabi is a British poet and performer who gives particular emphasis to the spoken word. She was born in London in 1965 to Nigerian parents, spent her teenage years living in North Wales and now lives in Kent with her husband and children. She has been writing poetry for over twenty years, and her first novel for children, The Infinite, the first in the Leap Cycle series, won a Wales Book of the Year Award.

Patience Agbabi said:

'I’m over the moon about being on the Scottish Teenage Book Prize shortlist! I always wanted The Infinite to have a wide audience and love to know it’s reaching into secondary schools all over Scotland. I had such fun writing the book and I hope you have as much fun reading it.'

S.M. Wilson lives on the west coast of Scotland with her fiancé and two sons. Her day job is as a nurse in public health – and her dream job is writing fiction. Her love of YA fiction started as a teenager and has never stopped. She wrote The Extinction Trials to try and infect her sons with the same love of reading that she has. The Extinction Trials was shortlisted for the 2019 Scottish Teenage Book Prize.

S.M Wilson said:

'I was truly delighted when I got the news that The Infinity Files had made the shortlist for the Scottish Teenage Book Prize. The thought that my feisty space heroine has made it out into the universe fills my little Star Wars/Star Trek heart with joy. Isn’t space hopping from planet to planet every girl’s dream?'

Notes to editors

For all media enquiries including photos of the launch or the authors, please contact Keara Donnachie on keara.donnachie@scottishbooktrust.com(this will open in a new window) or 07956 773 749.

Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust is a national charity changing lives through reading and writing. We inspire and support the people of Scotland to read and write for pleasure through programmes and outreach work that include:

In addition to the funding we receive from the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, we need the constant support of trusts and foundations, corporate sponsors and individual donors.

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Browns Books

Browns Books, sponsor of the Scottish Book Trust Learning Professional Award and Scottish Teenage Book Prize, supplies books, eBooks and DVDs for schools, colleges and businesses. More information on Browns Books website is available at www.brownsbfs.co.uk(this will open in a new window)

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com(this will open in a new window).

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