Where do I even begin this post? How do I even start to articulate how I'm feeling or what this means to me? In short: I can't. But I guess I'm going to have to try.

Mid last-week, I was aware that the longlist for the UKYABA (UK Young Adult Blogger Awards) was being announced. After already buying tickets and voting for my favourites several weeks before, I wasn't expecting anything other than to cheer on my favourites as they got nominated, and support them in any way that I could. You can't even imagine my surprise when my name appeared SIX TIMES on the longlist. I was aware I could only move forward in 3 categories, but figured something had gone wrong - because there was no way I was worthy of being shortlisted in 3.

Friday night came around. I was shortlisted in 3. To say I was overwhelmed and shocked, was the understatement of the year. One of the best moments was seeing I'd been shortlisted in a category with someone who has been everything I needed and more in the past year - Liv (thatfictonlife). Everyone I'm shortlisted with is insanely talented, and I've been a huge lover of all of their blogs/channels - so whilst it's very exciting, it's hugely intimidating. 

The categories I have been shortlisted for are:

Champion Vlogger

  • Be it discussions, book-challenges or book reviews, this award is about Vloggers who share their book-love passionately. (Their channels may have other content but book reviews/content are the core.)

Best Growing Blogger (2-4 years)

  • Bloggers who have been around for a few years, worked to build their blog and are continuing to champion books.

Marvellous Blogger Award

  • This is about bloggers who makes you feel happy about being part of the book blogging community. Is it because they have great book recommendations? Or because they always send you that perfect gif on Twitter when you need it? How about because they cheer on authors? Or you? They send real/virtual care-packages? Something about this blogger makes UKYA book blogging a better place for you. It can be a tiny thing or a big thing but it matters!

Even reading those little explanations back now make me well up. The fact that people even voted for me enough so I was shortlisted is more than I was ever expecting, so if you voted, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Champion Vlogger is the one that really left me feeling choked. Being in front of a camera was something I always found difficult, and something I practised for a long time. It's only recently that I've been able to post videos without scripting them! I think to know that people also value my channel, as much as my blog was a huge eye-opener for me and as strange as it sounds, made me feel like I must be good at what I do. (I'm a huge self-doubter!)

I am so unbelievably proud of what I've been able to achieve in the past year, despite my chronic illness, despite my mental health: I did this. As someone who last April was housebound, unable to work, unable to get out of bed most days; here I am almost a year on, with my own book business, had my own book club, being nominated for 3 awards. Just wow. And to be recognised for it, is one of the best feelings I've ever experienced. 

Voting closes on 31st January, and if any of you would be willing to vote for me again, or for the first time, my gratitude would know no bounds. All you have to do is:

UK Authors: Request a form by emailing with the subject: UKYABA Shortlist Voting – Author Voting Form (you must have proof you're an author, i.e link to your book)

UK Bloggers: Request a form by emailing with the subject: UKYABA Shortlist Voting – Book Blogger Voting Form (you must be an active UK YA blogger)

If you don't vote for me, trust me, I understand. The talent in every category is incredibly strong and I struggled to vote as my favourites feature heavily. I'm not going to pretend that walking away with an award wouldn't be amazing. Of course I'd love to win one of my categories, so here's hoping! And if not? It's something to work towards next year....

I've also seen lots of tweets about people feeling like a failure because their blog wasn't nominated. Guys, I wasn't nominated once last year, but made six categories this year. Don't let it get you down, book bloggers are all amazing and no amount of awards can change that. 

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