Thanks to our bookshop apprentice, Jasmine Denholm, and all her hard work and enthusiasm, Wenlock Books has won a national competition run by the Booksellers Association for the best shop window display of the books long-listed for the Desmond Elliott debut novel award. The prize is an evening of champagne and canapés at the Desmond Elliott awards ceremony at Fortnum and Mason next week.
Jasmine's prize-winning display included props that reflected important aspects of each of the books, from a shopping bag full of tinned peaches to tiny dolls house furniture.
‘I’m very excited about winning!’ Jasmine says. ‘It feels wonderful to receive recognition for something that I enjoyed doing. Tweeting the nominated authors with pictures of their books in the window was especially nice because they were all so kind and excited that we'd taken the time to find out about their books and gather appropriate decorations.’
Jasmine, who lives in Cressage with her family, started her apprenticeship at the bookshop in 2014, after a period of ill health led to depression, agoraphobia and anxiety:
‘Working in the shop gave me a purpose when I felt the most useless that I've ever felt. Being given responsibility for real things (like social media, young adult fiction and communicating with William Brookes School) made me feel important, which in turn made me feel confident and proud of my achievements. It's important to me that I work somewhere where everybody is made to feel special because it encourages everyone to be their best self. I'm very lucky to work at Wenlock Books and I appreciate every moment that I spend doing what I love.’
‘I'd like to stay within the book industry but I'm particularly interested in marketing via social media and talking to authors. Authors are the most interesting people in the world!'
Jasmine is especially keen on promoting Young Adult (YA) fiction:
‘I was someone who stopped reading at 13. Up until then I had loved reading but I completely lost interest when I stopped finding books that I could relate to. Lots of people in my class were reading classics but I wasn't interested in long, adult books. I didn’t know about YA fiction then. It's the most diverse, exciting and fast-paced of any genre and I'm so excited to not only enjoy these books but to be able to actively participate in discussions about them. I want every teenager to find the books that are right for them, and I hope I'm helping towards that goal!’
Come and see Jasmine's new Young Adult section in the shop. This week, for Indie Bookshop Week (20-27 June, 2015) all YA titles are 25% off.