Tag Archive: YA

  1. Highlights of YALC come to Bath

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    Over the weekend, the UK’s Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC for short) celebrated the best books for young people. We are very pleased to be able to bring you the highlights of YALC to Bath this October, from fantasy adventures to coming-of-age stories there is an event for everyone!

    Malorie Blackman and Simon Mayo

    Saturday 8 October

    Malorie Blackman returns to Bath for an exclusive in conversation event with radio presenter Simon Mayo. They talk about their new YA books (Blackman’s Chasing the Stars – ‘…goes boldly where few YA titles have gone before’ The Guardian and Mayo’s Blame – 4* Den of Geek), books they love and what they like to write about.

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    Chris Riddell

    Saturday 8 October

    Children’s Laureate and best-selling author and illustrator of Goth Girl, Chris Riddell answers your questions while illustrating live!

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    Sophie Kinsella

    Sunday 9 October

    Bestselling author of the Shopaholic series Sophie Kinsella joins Cecelia Ahern (P.S I Love You) as they make their debut in the world of Young Adult Fiction with Kinsella’s Finding Audrey (‘It’s fun, it’s quick, it’s cute, but it also focuses on deeper topics with maturity and responsibility’ The Guardian Online) and Ahern’s Flawed (‘A cracking read’ The Times).

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    Frances Hardinge

    Monday 3 October

    Winner of Costa Book of the Year, author Frances Hardinge discusses her extraordinary book The Lie Tree – a Victorian Gothic murder mystery with a lie-eating tree, archaeology, post-mortem photography, feminism and blasting powder!

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    Jenny Downham & Lisa Williamson

    Saturday 8 October

    Authors of Unbecoming and The Art of Being Normal join Alison Rattle and Harriet Reuter Hapgood to discuss their own writing identities and the colourful characters that inhabit their stories.

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    Melinda Salisbury & Alwyn Hamilton

    Saturday 8 October

    Enter far away worlds with the latest books from Melinda Salisbury (The Sin Eater’s Daughter), Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands) and Helen Keen (The Science of Game of Thrones).

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    Sophia Bennett

    Saturday 8 October

    Tune into a great chat between Sophia Bennett (Love Story) and Robert Muchamore (Gone Wild) as they talk music, bands and favourite songs.

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    Chris Vick

    Chris Vick joins Julia Green, Kris Humphrey and Mimi Thebo to discuss the writer’s creative journey from idea to completed manuscript – a must for all aspiring authors.

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    Natasha Farrant

    A must for Jane Austen fans! Natasha Farrant, author of the stunning Austen reimagining Lydia: The Wild Girl of Pride & Prejudice will be in conversation with Barry Cunningham, Chicken House publisher and the man who discovered J.K. Rowling.

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    9 days and over 100 events featuring the best children’s and teen authors, incredible illustrators, favourite characters, professional storytellers and the biggest names in children’s literature from across the world.

    Tickets go on sale on the following days:

    • General Booking: Is NOW OPEN 
    • Call Bath Box Office on 01225 463362

    David Walliams Chris Climbing Steps to RocketLiz Pichon - USEMichael MorpurgoMalorie Blackman 2Chris Hoy credit Ben DuffyChris Riddell CREDIT TOM PILSTON BOOKTRUSTClare Balding PR photo use


    David Walliams, Liz Pichon, astronaut Chris Hadfield, Michael Morpurgo, Malorie Blackman & Simon Mayo, Chris Riddell, Olympic cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, Nick Sharratt, Chris Packham, Clare Balding, Julian Clary, Lucy Worsley, Axel Scheffler, Andy Day, Cerrie Burnell, Sam and Mark, Lucy Cousins & Maisy, Frances Harding and so many more….

    2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the Bath Children’s Literature Festival. Over the last decade, the festival has brought to Bath and beyond, over 2,500 incredible author and illustrator events and workshops which have been enjoyed by over a ¼ of a million children, parents and teachers.

    The Bath Children’s Literature Festival, the largest dedicated children’s festival in Europe, has always offered a vibrant array of talks and activities for children and young adults, and this year is no exception.


    • One of the biggest names in children’s books, David Walliams, is coming to the festival for the first time. The event will be a celebration of ‘The World of David Walliams’, with a talk about his career and some of his most popular books.
    • Best selling author and illustrator, Liz Pichon, offers a very special event that will take the audience into the world of Tom Gates.
    • Canadian astronaut, Colonel Chris Hadfield will launch his new book, The Darkest Dark, at the festival. Chris will talk about how he conquered is fear of the dark as a child and then went on to become Commander of the International Space Station.
    • Former children’s laureate, Michael Morpurgo, will share the inspiration for his books, including his latest novel An Eagle in the Snow which is an extraordinary story of the man who could have stopped World War Two before it began.
    • YA (Young Adult) Day – another former children’s laureate and celebrated YA author, Malorie Blackman, comes to the festival for an exclusive ‘in conversation’ event with radio presenter and author Simon Mayo in which they will discuss their books and all things YA. The programme will also include Robert Muchamore & Sophia Bennett, Sarah J. Mass, Cecilia Ahern & Sophie Kinsella, Kevin Brooks and Frances Harding.
    • Chris Riddell, author of much loved books such as Ottoline and the Goth Girl series, will give a talk about his role as the current children’s laureate and answer questions from his young fans – through live drawing!
    • Team GB’s most successful Olympic athlete and cyclist, Chris Hoy, will introduce his new series of books for young readers entitled Flying Fergus.
    • TV presenter and wildlife champion, Chris Packham, will recall many animal stories as well as talk about his first book, Amazing Animal Journeys.
    • Well-known broadcaster and author, Clare Balding, will entertain and inspire with her talk about her very first book, The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop.
    • Comedian, entertainer and writer, Julian Clary, will team up with illustrator, David Roberts, to introduce their brand new book in the series, The Bolds to the Rescue.
    • Historian and author, Lucy Worsley, will bring Tudor times to life with her novel Eliza Rose. The book explores the life of Katherine Howard and Henry VIII’s court through the eyes of the maid of honour, Eliza Rose.
    • Bestselling illustrator, Axel Scheffler, will do live drawing and storytelling based on family favourites such as Stick Man and Superworm.
    • The Dragon’s Dentist by Tom Morris, adapted from the book by artistic director of the festival, John McLay, will be performed at the Mission Theatre by Next Stage production.
    • The Kids Big Bath Read returns this year. The book under review will be Hamish and the Worldstoppers, written by Danny Wallace and illustrated by Jamie Littler.
    • A series of Masterclasses offering pop-up book making, Doctor Who story writing, collage making and tips on how to become a journalist.
    • Look out for events, activities and competitions to celebrate the 10th anniversary including the CBeebies Radio Bus.The artist who created this year’s programme front cover is Nick Sharratt. Nick will give a talk on his new picture book, The Cat and the King.

    Keep up to date with all the Festival announcements by following us on Twitter @BathFestivals #BathKidsLitFest or Like us on Facebook /BathFestivals

  3. #BathKidsLitFest Day 7: Are we obliged to write good role models?

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    If you’re not sure what to read next it’s always good to go on someone else’s recommendation, and who better to suggest a great read than Gill McLay, artistic co-director of The Telegraph Bath Children’s FestivalBath Picks, the initiative that she and John McLay, co-director (and husband) launched this year celebrates authors whose voices just have to be heard.

    And so we have Sarah Crossan, Virginia Bergin and Sarah Benwell in conversation on stage at the Mission Theatre.  We get a reading from the novels showcased, Crossan’s One, Bergin’s The Storm, the sequel to The Rain, and Benwell’s The Last Leaves Falling, and a lively discussion about the themes that emerge from these three compellingly original Young Adult books.

    'Apple and Rain' cover

    One is Crossan’s fifth novel.  Like her prize-winning book The Weight of Water, it’s written in free verse.  It’s the story of conjoined twins, Grace and Tippi, who have been taught at home for most of their lives.  But that’s all about to change. The world intrudes when they go to school and have to come to terms with a whole host of issues – love, separation, identity and the usual stuff that teenagers go through.

    Crossan wrote 30,000 words in prose before realizing that Grace’s voice came through so much stronger when written in verse.  Hours of research in the British Library and lengthy conversations with the leading surgeon who operates on conjoined twins have resulted in a remarkable story that twists and turns, dancing the fine line between tragedy and comedy.

    The Last Leaves Falling

    Bergin confesses that Ruby, the fifteen-year-old heroine of her sequel took over the whole story whether she wanted her to or not.  “Ruby just rocked up,” she says.  “I had no idea that she was there.  But her voice started and then she would just not shut up!” Bergin’s inspiration for her two related novels came from New Scientist magazine (“a great place for ideas”).  It’s a ‘what if…?’ scenario.  The ‘what if’ being how would the world look after water becomes toxic and global apocalypse ensues.  This brings a whole host of problems for Ruby, not least the prospect of having access to her favourite cosmetics seriously compromised.

    The Storm

    Benwell’s debut novel is set in Japan, a country where the suicide rate for teenagers is at epidemic levels.  Sora is suffering from ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease. He’s lost the use of his legs and he can’t go to school any more.  Increasingly, his thoughts turn on whether in the spirit of the legendary Japanese samurai warriors the time has come to choose how, and when, to die. It’s a pretty bleak premise, but with Benwell’s careful handling and beautiful writing, Sora’s story has moments of great hope and testifies to the enduring power of friendship.

    “Are we obliged to write good role models?” Bergin wonders. “The most important think is that your character should make you think” McLay offers.  Grace, Ruby and Sora certainly do that, and more.

    Claudia Pugh-Thomas at Bath Picks on Sunday 27 September as part of The Telegraph Bath Children’s Literature Festival continues until Sunday 4 October 2015

    Bath Box Office 01225 463362


  4. Yep being a teenager can be pretty damn hard but with a handbook that good sitting next to you, it’s not half so bad.

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    Being a teenager in 2015 is not exactly a super sleek, bump free ride, as we all know.  So, when I saw that there is a talk which claims that it will help you to “navigate your way through” the testing times, how could I miss it?  On hand to deliver their pearls of wisdom were authors James Dawson and Hayley Long, each bringing their different books and genders to the table, combining their understanding and humour.  The result? A hilarious but helpful and insightful talk.


    Now, as a girl about to turn 16, I feel that I could do with a bit of help on answering some of life’s great mysteries.  Who better to do that than Hayley Long?  BEING A GIRL is her first nonfiction book and it covers everything that we girls have to go through from makeup to hormones; the tricky matter of school hierarchies and lots of other issues which tax the teenage girl’s brain.   Being a teenage boy however isn’t something which I can claim to know much about so I was interested to hear about life for the other 50% of the teenage population. Luckily, James knows a lot about it.  He is a former PHSE teacher, specialising in YA books, both fiction and non-fiction.  BEING A BOY, is his ultimate guide for boys on all things to do with relationships and all puberty stuff…


    Both books cover serious, and at times scary topics in a very witty and light-hearted way and the discussion at the Guildhall did the same.

    Later, the floor was opened up to us as we asked all our teenage niggles and deeper Q’s to the ‘box of secret truths’… and you know one answer that did emerge? Yep being a teenager can be pretty damn hard…. but with a handbook that good sitting next to you, it’s not half so bad.


    Written by Meg Allen

    15 Years

  5. A fantastic line-up of YA Authors confirmed for The Telegraph Children’s Bath Literature Festival

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    This year’s festival, running from 25 September to 4 October has pulled out all the stops to ensure there’s plenty over the 10 day festival to involve and interest the Bath teen audiences. Here’s a brief round-up of some of the events:

    Double Carnegie medal winner Patrick Ness, author of A Monster Calls and the Chaos Walking trilogy will talk about his experiences as a writer as well as sharing his latest novel, The Rest of Us Just Live Here.

    Joe Sugg is a YouTube Star with over 4 million subscribers and he’s coming to Bath to discuss his first book, Username: Evie, an original and imaginative graphic novel. Ticket price will include a signed copy of the book and there’ll also be a chance for 50 fans chosen randomly on the night to meet Joe in person.

    Acclaimed YA authors James Dawson and Hayley Long appear in a frank, funny, straight talking event about all things teen.

    Holly Smale is Young Adult Waterstones Children’s Book Prize winner and creator of the bestselling Geek Girl books. Come and hear all about All That Glitters, the latest calamity-strewn adventure starring Harriet Manners.

    On an exclusive visit from the US, bestselling author Jennifer Donnelly joins us to talk about the third book in the Waterfire Saga, Dark Tide whilst three amazing authors Arabella Weir, Jenny McLachlan and Katy Birchall talk about the amusing and peculiar perils of being a modern day teen as well as confessing some of their own teen misadventures.

    Master storyteller Derek Landy has built a loyal following of devoted Skullduggery Pleasant fans. He’s written a new and epic saga, Demon Road, full of his trademark action, wit and razor sharp dialogue. Come prepared for undead serial killers, vampires and killer cars!

    Sheila Rance has written a stunning fantasy adventure called Sun Catcher and will be running a masterclass in creative writing and world building – this is your chance to turn the ideas in your mind into reality on the page.

    Joe Abercrombie and Philip Reeve, two young adult storytellers at the top of their craft, transport you into two incredible worlds in turns brutal, fantastical and amazing.

    Fancy yourself as a bit of a Hunger Games expert? Join the eccentric host Caesar Flickerman for the ultimate Hunger Games quiz. Test your knowledge of the books and pit yourself against the other in Panem for the chance to win some fantastic prizes. Not to be missed.

    And a whole host of other events including Diversity: The Daily Telegraph Debate with Lorna Bradbury and Liz Kessler and Bali Rai and An Appreciation of Children’s Literature.

    And Gill McLay introduces Sarah Crossan, Sarah Benwell and Virginia Bergin all exciting new young adult authors.

    You can book tickets for all events by telephone 01225 463362, online at www.bathfestivals.org.uk or in person at the Bath Box Office.