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I WON the Bristol Teen Book Awards 2020!

After being postponed twice (hoping we could meet in person), the 2020 Bristol Teen Book Award ceremony finally went ahead this month online, with deputy mayor Asher Craig presenting this beautiful blue glass trophy to me. 

As a writer with perpetual imposter syndrome, it’s things like this that remind me that actually, readers prove that I can write. So I’m going to display this award with pride alongside the others, and look at it whenever I feel creatively insecure ie. a lot!

A massive thank you goes out to the voters and the organisers at Bristol Teen Book Awards, an organisation championing diversity. If you get the chance, check out the other shortlisters because they are all equally brill.

NEW Maddy Yip series coming this August

I’m very excited to reveal advance copies of my latest book ‘Maddy Yip’s Guide to Life’. It’s the first in a laugh out loud series for kids 8+ and chock-full of madcap adventures.

It’s been brilliant working on this over the past year – thinking up hilarious scenarios and sketching funny cartoons got me through the gloom for sure.

When I was a kid, we didn’t have books so I bought comics from the newsagents and devoured them instead. Ever since it’s been my dream to create something similar of my own…and now here I am! I hope my readers get the same enjoyment from this as I have.

***Pre-order here***

Longlisted for The Blossom Awards

Wow – I’ve been longlisted for The Blossom Awards!
Founded by Alan Mak MP and Cathy Watts, these awards ‘Bring together the nation’s British-Chinese leaders and influencers and celebrate their success and contribution’…So as you can imagine, I am totally doing my happy dance today!
The work I do as an author is so varied but the most rewarding part is education, especially teaching our young people to close the gap between divides and differences. I’d like to think I can help empower them to build a more positive future together.
Thank you Blossom Awards for choosing me and congratulations and best of luck to all the other longlisters going forward!

I’m an EmpathyLab-trained author!

EmpathyLab is an organisation offering schools and libraries innovative and practical ways to build empathy.

Without this social and emotional skill, young people struggle to communicate and form strong relationships.

By encouraging children to #ReadForEmpathy, we can broaden their world view with stories that explore and teach how different people’s lives are, how important it is to understand what others are going through, and act on it.

So, we the team of Empathy Lab authors, will help integrate empathy education into existing school practices and empower our young people to build a more caring world – who’s with us?!

Join us for this year’s Empathy Day on 10th June 💛

World Book Day 2021

I was so excited when asked if I wanted to be included in the World Book Day video. Author Sophie Andersen and  booktuber Gavin Hetherington teamed up to create an epic montage of 153 authors spreading the message of book-love and the importance of getting them into the hands of as many young people as possible.

I was even more excited when a  sneak preview tweet was posted of me pictured next to Cressida Cowell, the Children’s Laureate – BOOM! So if any of you are thinking of writing but don’t think you’re of the right race, class or educational background – here’s proof it can be done.

World Book day is 4th March, so tune into YouTube and watch this fantastic video. It’s for everyone and it’s FREE – enjoy!

Read for Empathy

Chinglish has been chosen for the 2021 Read for Empathy collection, I’m so proud! 🙌

‘The empathy we feel for book characters wires our brains to have the same sensitivity towards real people’ (Raymond Marr, York University, Toronto)

This important collection of books get updated every year, and helps to raise an empathy-educated generation, so children can be their best selves in a culture of kindness. Right now what could be more important?

Find more information about EmpathyLab’s work and Empathy Day (this year it’s on June 10th 2021): bit.ly/2YgorOk

CHINGLISH SCREEN ADAPTATION!

I can now officially announce that my debut novel is being adapted for screen! It is the most insane but fantastic news! I’m not able to give any details as yet and there probably won’t be any for a while as production processes take a notoriously long time. More than anything though, I’m excited to get the British Chinese story out there from the other side of the takeaway counter. I try to get this across in a hilarious but warm-hearted way, with a hope to help bring people together by what they share in common, not what sets them apart. It’ll also be a great way to increase visibility and create some positive noise for the ‘invisible minority’. I am so proud to represent.

Huge thanks as always go to my agent, editor and the fantastic team at Andersen Press for making the magic happen.

The Book of Homelessness

One of the most fulfilling things I’ve done this year is to work with Accumulate Art School For The Homeless charity. The remarkable founder Marice Cumber, read my piece about being homeless in The Big Issue and asked if I’d hold a workshop for her students. Since then I’ve contributed to their Book of Homelessness and this month’s art kits, which I’m so proud to be a part of (1000s have been posted to hostels and temporary accommodation since people couldn’t get to workshops).

Apart from helping to build skills and improve lives through creativity, the charity also provides fully funded scholarships at Ravensbourne University.

The Book of Homelessness has REAL stories and art by creatives affected by homelessness, from fleeing war torn countries, to neglect and social circumstances. I’m proud to support Accumulate by contributing my piece on what it was like to be homeless and pregnant as a teenager.

Copies are available from accumulate.org.uk. and all profits go to charity.

I WON A NATIONAL AWARD!!

WHAT EVEN??!!! I have only gone and WON The Diverse Book Awards, Young Adult category!!!
I had no idea this was going to be a thing, so please forgive the babbling post! Massive thanks to my agent @thecatchpoles and publisher @andersenpress who backed me all the way, even when I was convinced no one wanted hear my story. And thank you to the judges @DBAwards who then did hear my story and found it worthy of an award. Also a big hand goes to all the other talent that got nominated.
When I wrote Chinglish, I had no idea of the 1000s in the Chinese community (all over the world) who would relate to my upbringing in a takeaway/restaurant. Since then, many have messaged to say how much better they feel knowing they weren’t alone.
Apart from the struggles (including racism, the immigrant experience and identity issues), growing up British Chinese was and continues to be, a rich and colourful dual culture experience. We were known as the ‘silent minority’ but with incredible awards like this representing all, I hope others will be encouraged to join in getting our voices heard. Congratulations to the other winners Onjali Rauf and Ayisha Malik and love to all – I’m off to celebrate now whoo-hoo! 💛

Shortlisted for The Diverse Book Awards 2020!

Whoo-hoo! I can’t believe Chinglish has been nominated for The Diverse Book Awards shortlist! To any aspiring writers out there, no matter what your background is, if you’ve got a story to tell then tell it because THIS might happen!

I didn’t think anyone would want to know about me, a working class kid growing up in a Chinese takeaway in Coventry, but my agent persuaded me otherwise and he was right, people want to hear our stories, especially those that aren’t very often heard. I know now how important this is for us to be able to understand and connect with each other.

Massive thanks as always go to my agent and all the top folk at Andersen Press for their support. Also, thank you to the judges at DBA and congratulations to the other brilliant short listed authors – yaaaaaay!