Meet the team

In 2019 the UKYABA will be run by the YAShot team in partnership with YALC. Graphics by Georgina Williams.

In 2019 our panel of judges, chaired by Dr Alexia Casale (YA author & YAShot Director), comprises Amber Caravéo (YA agent), Nathan Brown (Hillingdon Libraries), Savita Kalhan (YA author & book-group leader) and Vashti Hardy (MG author & former school teacher). Our independent observer for 2019 is Tanya Efthymiou (school librarian).

Dr Alexia Casale is the Director of YAShot, a YA author and freelance editor and writing consultant. You can find a full profile here.

Amber Caravéo is co-founder of Skylark Literary – – a boutique literary agency supporting the best in Children’s and YA fiction. Formerly, Amber was Editorial Director of Orion Children’s Books, where she worked with many prize-winning and bestselling authors such as Juno Dawson and Holly Black.

Savita Kalhan is the YA author of The Girl in the Broken Mirror and The Long Weekend. Her third novel, That Asian Kid, will be published by Troika Books in August 2019. Visit her website at

Vashti Hardy is a writer of children’s books living near Brighton in Sussex with her husband and three teens. She was a primary school teacher for several years, and has a special interest in children’s writing, especially free-writing and the use of journals and creating fantasy worlds. She has a first-class honours teaching degree with English specialism and an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. After leaving teaching to focus more on her writing, she became a copywriter and digital marketing executive. Her books BRIGHTSTORM and WILDSPARK are published in the UK by Scholastic.

Nathan Brown is a librarian and Branch Manager for Hillingdon Libraries.

Huge shout out to our hosts for 2019 – the stupendous YALC!