Omega Writers

CALEB Young Adult Winner: Apprentice

Kristen Young was the winner of the Young Adult Fiction section of the CALEB Awards in 2021, with her book, Apprentice, published by Enclave Escape. We sat down with Kristen after her win and asked her a few questions about her book and her process.

Q: Congratulations, Kristen! Tell us what your book is about?

Kristen: Apprentice is a YA story, set in the dystopian world of the ‘Love Collective’. Apprentice Flick is an intelligent young girl, who has a special ability: she remembers every detail of her life from the time she’s five years old. She wants to escape her life and reach the Elite Academy, but hellish nightmares start invading her days, making her afraid that she’ll never make it. It’s a high-tech, thrilling ride.

Q: What inspired or started you writing it?

Kristen: I’ve always been fascinated by language, and the way it’s used by those in power. Totalitarian regimes usually describe themselves as the forces of good, who stand against the forces of evil. I started to wonder about the use of the word “love”. What if instead of “good”, a power used “love”? What if instead of “evil”, they used “hate”? What does it mean to love someone? How do you know what love is? All of these kinds of questions filtered into my thinking as I was creating the story.

Q: Who’s the audience, and have you had feedback from readers yet? OR who do you hope will read it, and how do you hope it will affect them?

Kristen: The audience is teen readers. I’m hoping they’ll enjoy the story, but also perhaps think about the relationship dynamics in there. The series is ultimately a story of hope, not fear.

Where can people get your book?

Kristen: In Australia, hard copies of the book are available at the Wandering Bookseller. Other versions such as audiobooks, e-books and hardcovers are available through Amazon, Kobo, and the Book Depository.

We hope you’ll check out Kristen’s winning title and leave a review for her. Congratulations to Kristen and all our winners.