The Northern YA (Young Adult) Literary Festival at Preston's UCLan: What is it, when is it and how to get involved

The countdown has begun to a popular Preston literary festival which turns the spotlight on books for young adults and children.

By Fiona Finch
Monday, 16th May 2022, 1:21 pm
Updated Monday, 16th May 2022, 6:02 pm

Publisher Hazel Holmes from UCLan Publishing is urging anyone interested to sign up for the free family friendly free event on May 21 and 22 at the UCLan campus as soon as possible.

The two day book extravaganza includes numerous talks from publishers, authors and agents as well as a range of activities for youngsters.

Hundreds of visitors have already signed up for The Northern YA (Young Adult) Literary Festival on Saturday May 21, followed by KIDSLitFest (KIDSLit) for younger readers on the Sunday May 22.

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Hazel Holmes has organised the two literary festivals

The event, now in its fourth year, was founded and organised by city based UCLan Publishing.

It was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic in 2020 and was held online in 2021.

Hazel, who manages and organises the weekend events, said: “I’m just excited to have people celebrating books in person again. This is the first time people have been able to meet up in a very long time.”

Hazel advised people to register for general admission to access bookings, get free goodies and a programme and then to register for each event they would like to attend.

Panel events range from The Publishing Process and Getting Your Pitch Right, to sessions entitled Thrills & Chills and Living, Loving & Laughing. There will also be numerous book signings.

The event has gained £15,000 Arts Council funding and Hazel said: “The whole thing is quite a unique opportunity. We have so many authors coming up to Preston for the day. It’s quite a rare thing now for literary festivals to be based in the north for children. I know Manchester has one but this is free and we want to make it as inclusive as possible. It doesn’t cost a thing, anybody can attend. We’ve got some really big names. “

Authors Elle McNicoll, Vashti Hardy and author and creative writing lecturer Danielle Yawando will be among those at the KIDS LitFest event on the Sunday. Frank Cottrell-Boyce will also be giving a talk and book signing on that day.and UCLan Publishing author Jasmine Richards, founder of Storymix (The Inclusive Fiction Studio) will chair a panel entitled Adventure Awaiting.

Throughout this year’s Festival there will be an emphasis on mindfulness, mental health and humour.

The Young Adult titles are pitched at those aged 12 and over, while the KidsFest events are for aimed at those aged eight plus but there will be plenty of activities for younger children too.

One of the attractions on Sunday is an opportunity for youngsters to create their own stories at a Story Mixing Station. The drop-in activity encourages participants to play with story ideas using story cards from Magical Story Jars®️ from 10 am to 2pm. This is followed by another drop in event, a Create an Alien Storytelling Workshop from 2pm - 4pm.

There will also be numerous book and publishing related stalls.

For more details about the NorthernYA and KIDSLitFest search for nyalitfest on line

or see here

See also Twitter @NYALitFest and @publishinguclan and on Facebook.