Alicia Young Wins Award for Debut Book at 2013 New York Book Festival


BAIPA member Alicia Young’s debut book, The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Grace: small touches with big impact – at home, work & in love has just won the 2013 New York Book Festival Prize for best new How-to/Self- Help book.

This is a gentle inner-beauty makeover for anyone who feels rushed; Alicia explores ways to tap our inner Audrey Hepburn in a fast-paced world – told with humor and anecdotes from your fellow Savvy Girls.  Visit and click on the Amazon link to see sample chapters.

Alicia is an Australian international TV journalist with more than fifteen years’ experience as a medical reporter, foreign correspondent and news anchor. Alicia was once told off by Mother Teresa for not having children (she forgot) and has volunteered at a hospice and leprosy hospital in India. Outside work, Alicia handles parasols and power tools with equal ease (not really, but she helpfully holds the flashlight when needed). She recently relocated from Chile to the US.


Q: Why write about grace?

Alicia: I feel we’re more logged on than ever, but less connected. As life becomes more frantic, grace is eroding—but it’s so easy to reclaim.  The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Grace is about pausing here and there, to let grace infuse itself in our daily interactions: taking a moment to make a connection with someone in person, rather than through a screen!

Q: You share many anecdotes from women around the world. How did you gather them?

Alicia: Over years of travel. I’ve always kept journals and noted observations in the countries we’ve lived in: Australia, India, Russia, US, UK, Indonesia, Malaysia, Chile. Each of us has different insights to share, so I tapped women around the world. And of course, I’ve received grace from others, when making the sort of cross-cultural stumbles that inevitably arise in new lands. In Chile, I once greeted a handyman, called Amando, by cheerfully calling, “Hola, Amante!” I’d actually said, “Hello, lover!” To make it worse, he’s not only a handyman, but a Christian pastor. Really. He graciously smiled and overlooked my faux pas.

Q: You independently published. Why not chase a big book deal?

Alicia:  There’s so many ways to have your voice heard now, and after researching the options, I felt indie publishing offered a good model in creativity and autonomy. The good thing about indie publishing is that there’s no one to say no; the bad thing is, there’s no one to say no. So I was very fortunate to be able to bring together a team of professionals: book editors, designers, a cover-art illustrator, to produce a book on par to anything in your local bookstore. Of course, there were also days that I’d say, “I might not drink alcohol, but I’m thinking of starting!” But it’s an experience I’ve relished, and one I’m very grateful for.


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