YA Author Keris Stainton’s picks

Keris Stainton is the author of YA novels DELLA SAYS: OMG! and the forthcoming JESSIE ♥ NYC. She spends her days tweeting, drinking tea and thinking about David Mitchell.

50: Signed first edition hardback of SCRIVENER’S MOON by Philip Reeve

I started reading children/YA fiction when I worked at Waterstone’s years ago and Philip Reeve’s Mortal Engines (It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea …) was one of the first books I was completely blown away by. I’m not ashamed to say that I did a little squee when I got Philip’s email.

57: Non Fiction critique up to 3000 words by Diane Shipley + copies of FILLED WITH GLEE, A TASTE OF TRUE BLOOD, and HOUSE, UNAUTHORIZED

Diane is not only a wonderful writer, she’s one of the most intelligent people I’ve ever met. If you’re interested in writing non-fic, her advice would be invaluable. Also? Glee!

174: Character name in NAOMI ALDERMAN’s new novel DOCTOR WHO: BORROWED TIME

Now I’m no Whovian, but even I can see what a fabulous, most likely once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity this is. Your name. In the Whoniverse (I have no idea if they call it that, but if they don’t they totally should).

60: One to one social media mentoring with Alison Norrington

I don’t think it would be overstating things to say that social media completely changed my life. You need to look at your online presence and Alison Norrington is an expert in the field.

179: Signed pre-publication proof copy of ESSIE FOX’s novel The Somnambulist

I know Essie via Twitter and I’ve been excited about this book since I first heard of it. It sounds glorious. And the cover is beautiful too.


Journalist Andrea Wren’s top picks

Andrea Wren is a freelance journalist and travel writer, and has written past and present for national publications such as the Guardian, The Times, The Independent, Wanderlust, Zest, Glamour and Spirit & Destiny, plus in flight magazines like easyJet Traveller and JetAway, and regional publications like North West Business Insider. She writes a travel blog called Travelling Wren.


Linda is a whirlwind – I’ve never known anyone as driven as her, but as helpful and supportive as well. Today’s freelance market is tough so anyone with a freelance writing career should JUMP at the chance of bidding for a place on this workshop. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn from Linda.

134: Hand-made artists pamphlet of poetry and art work by Rachel J. Fenton

What a beautiful and rare thing to own! Not a commercially published book, but a collection hand-made from the author and artist herself. And Rachel’s poetry is very rich, almost visual in itself.

180. Walk-on part in REBECCA EMIN’S next novel + signed books

I just think this would make a lovely and such an unusual gift for someone – who wouldn’t want to see themselves featured in a book? Especially a child. A very rare opportunity for the winner, in my opinion.

60: One to one social media mentoring with Alison Norrington

Need to brush up on your social media skills? Then look no further. Alison Norrington’s offer is one to be snapped at. I think there’s nothing quite like real live mentoring to work out a strategy for the virtual world!

32: Design, Build and Launch of a Book/Writing Themed Blog or Website by Brendan Gannon

This is a FABULOUS auction lot. You couldn’t ask for anyone more qualified to design your website, and there’s no place in today’s world to be an author without an online presence or blog.

Chicklish editor Luisa Plaja’s top picks

Luisa Plaja is the author of several novels for teenagers, including the transatlantic parallel-life tale Split by a Kiss and its body-swap sequel Swapped by a Kiss. Her next novel, Kiss Date Love Hate, will be out in July. She blogs about books at Chicklish.

She was asked for five Children’s/YA picks and, ahem, she obviously can’t count, but in her defence there are somany great items to bid on…

148 Signed copies of all four books in the Skate School series by KAY WOODWARD

This is a fantastic children’s series about ice-skating. I wish I could live in this world! Of course, the next best thing would be to own the entire series, signed by the lovely author…

140 Signed original drawing of Charlie from CASTLE OF SHADOWS by Ellen Renner

The author’s original illustration of her defiant, brave heroine at a major moment. Wow.

138 Signed copy of DARK RIDE by Caroline Green

A signed debut novel by a brilliant author – I want it, I want it!

93 Critique of a submission package for a children’s or YA novel + signed copy of HOW ALI FERGUSON SAVED HOUDINI by Elen Caldecott

Elen Caldecott’s books are perfect for young readers and I adore the feisty, realistic characters she creates. This is a wonderful lot – bid bid bid!

70 Paperback edition of TALL STORY, signed and drawn on by Candy Gourlay

Who wouldn’t want a copy of this charming, magical book, signed with an original cartoon by its amazing author Candy Gourlay. I know I would… *scrabbles for extra pennies*

42 Chapter critique + character name + signed proof of LIA’S GUIDE TO WINNING THE LOTTERY by Keren David

I love Keren David’s books and I can’t wait to read her next one, Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery. This lot has everything: a guaranteed great read, the chance for your name to feature in a future Keren David novel, and sound writing advice.

33 Children’s YA manuscript report by EMILY GALE

Manuscript advice from Emily Gale? Utterly priceless.

Author Jane Wenham-Jones’s top picks

Jane Wenham-Jones is an author and freelance journalist who has been widely published in women’s magazines and the national press. She has published three novels and two non-fiction books – Wannabe a Writer? – a humorous look at how to get published and Wannabe a Writer We’ve Heard Of? – a guide to hitting the publicity trail. She has also contributed to several anthologies. She writes regular columns for the Isle of Thanet Gazette,Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and Booktime and is the “agony aunt” for Writing Magazine. www.janewenham-jones.com

165: First chapter critique plus a signed copy of Girl on the Run by JANE COSTELLO

A signed copy AND a critique – what more do you want? Getting your work looked at by a successful, published author is always a fantastic opportunity. A Sunday Times Bestselling one has got to be worth an extra-large bid

149: Exclusive short story by MIRANDA DICKINSON starring the winning bidder + signed books + brownies!

Your chance to perfect and immortalise yourself in fiction. You can tell Miranda you’re younger, slimmer and richer with a string of exotic lovers and a much smaller Writers’ Bottom. (If you’re very sensibly not a writer – you have been warned!) Unique offering from a great author.

47: One hour of Scrappy Phone Coaching with Kimberly Wiefling

An hour of phone coaching is always tempting. May well bid myself. Can Kimberly make me more organised, rich and successful and get me churning out a string of best-selling books instead of spending my days eating chocolate and posting on twitter? Worth a few quid to find out…

32: Design, Build and Launch of a Book/Writing Themed Blog or Website by Brendan Gannon

Hey this has got to be good. A whole new website – and someone else to do it for you! You can lose your entire life trying to do this sort of thing yourself – not to mention spend a fortune. Hurrah for Brendan!

30: Sex scene critique + signed copy of THE 52 SEDUCTIONS by Betty Herbert + Betty & Herbert mugs

This could be invaluable. I can’t be the only one who finds it difficult to write the squelchy bits without feeling sill (why I generally get their kit half-off then cut hastily to the post-coital sandwich). An amazing chance to get the once-over for your leg-over and a couple of mugs to boot. What with a signed copy of The 52 Seductions that’s the whole of the next year sorted. Terrific! 🙂

Singer Tracey Thorn’s top picks

Tracey Thorn – lead singer of Everything But The Girl for eighteen years. Now solo recording artist, mother of three, gardener, and Twitter time-waster. My top auction picks are :

174: Character name in NAOMI ALDERMAN’S new novel DOCTOR WHO: BORROWED TIME

It’s hard to imagine anyone who WOULDN’T want to be a character in a Doctor Who story. Especially when you find out that your character will be someone who has done a *very unwise deal* with some aliens…

45: Box of teen fiction worth £200 from HACHETTE CHILDREN’S BOOKS

This is an amazing offer, featuring books that I can guarantee will be a hit with teens, as I have two of them myself (teens, I mean) and they have read actual books included in this amazing giveaway.

149: Exclusive short story by MIRANDA DICKINSON starring the winning bidder + signed books + brownies!

This is a fairly blatant attempt to win bids by offering CAKE as well as literature, but I fail to see what’s wrong with that. You get to star in a story, you get books to read, and you get brownies to eat while you read them. Win/win.

133: Signed copy of RUNNING by Rachel Newcombe (1 of 2) (2 of 2)

I have chosen this because I am in awe of anyone who can run. And anyone who can run at the same time as writing a book about how to run, deserves at the very least, a bid, if not a medal.

42: Chapter critique + character name + signed proof of LIA’S GUIDE TO WINNING THE LOTTERY by Keren David

I was at school with Keren, so obviously I am totally biased, but putting all this aside I can honestly say she is a brilliant writer, and having your name in something she has written would be an honour indeed.

Have you seen…

… these brilliant lots that you may have missed?

Signed copy of THE LONG WEEKEND by Savita Kalhan

This thriller sounds like a brilliant read, short-listed for the Fabulous Book Award 2010 it’s definitely one to keep an eye on.

Lifetime membership of Diving Deeper writing group.

Sandra Jensen has been running this online writers’ workshop/support group for nearly four years and she’s offering a lifetime membership. It sounds like a great deal whether you’re a budding writer or a more experienced writer who fancies a fresh approach.

Signed hardback first edition of THE TWILIGHT TIME by Karen Campbell.

This is another book I really like the sound of, a crime novel set in the seedy underworld of Glasgow.

Signed copies of THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR by Ann Werner + THE VIRGIN DIARIES by Ann Werner and Kimberley A. Johnson

I think this is a really interesting lot. Ann Werner’s novel The People Next Door sounds wonderfully creepy, the kind of book that would leave you wondering as you tried to get sleep. The Virgin Diaries, co written with her daughter sounds like an intriguing project, collecting together the experiences of 72 men and women.

Copy of SCRAPPY GENERAL MANAGEMENT by Michael Horton and Kimberly Wiefling.

For anyone moving into a managing role or considering starting their own business this sounds like a great no nonsense title.

Blogger Anne-Marie Taylor’s top picks

Anne-Marie blogs at Lovely, TV Canary and The Me-est Me (and can’t quite believe that in less than 2 years she’s managed to get three blogs, especially considering the amount of time she spends on Twitter). Here are her top picks:

108: Copy of STARTING OVER, ONE CAKE AT A TIME by Gesine Bullock Prado

“Chock-full of eccentric characters, beautifully detailed descriptions of her baking process, ceaselessly funny renditions of Hollywood nonsense, and recipes” YES PLEASE.

146: Signed proof of SAM BAKER’S new novel + character name

Sam is the editor of Red magazine, which I love love love with a passion, and I’ve got her first novel The Stepmothers Support Group on my to-be-read pile.

30: Sex scene critique + signed copy of THE 52 SEDUCTIONS by Betty Herbert + Betty & Herbert mugs

What a great offer – if I were about to write a sex scene I imagine I’d find it a tad….blush-inducing, so to have feedback from Betty (whose blog I’ve loved following) would be invaluable. Plus, cool mugs!

151: Signed copy of RUNNING by Rachel Newcombe

I’ve just started running myself so this sounds like the perfect book for a beginner like me.

167: Signed/personally dedicated copy of THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER by JoJo Moyes

I really enjoyed Night Music, and The Ship of Brides is one of my favourite books of the last five years so I can’t wait to read this.

So there you are. Can I just say it was really really hard choosing? There’s so much great stuff here!