Capturing the gravity of adolescent experiences in writing is no easy feat – but our best storytellers are here to guide you through it. In a series of curated sessions, we investigate the power of YA fiction, consider the responsibilities of exploring difficult and uncomfortable issues for teen readers, and share the tips, tricks and pitfalls of writing YA. From first steps to publication, this masterclass is your all-day crash course in writing YA that hits the spot.
Presented in partnership with Text Publishing
10am The Dark Side
Literature can provide a safe space to encounter and discuss darker themes, but it’s still important to ensure that younger audiences are cared for in the engagements with taboo and trauma. Pick up practical insights and tools for tackling the big topics with subtlety and truth.
With Alison Evans, Eleni Hale and Nicole Hayes
10.30am Keynote: Seeing Ourselves
“If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” – Toni Morrison
A keynote to start the day, about the potential of YA to reflect audiences back to themselves, as well as building empathy for others’ experiences.
With Rebecca Lim
11.45pm Pitch to Publication
What happens to your manuscript once you’ve pitched it to a publisher? Get a gander at what happens behind the scenes as the Text team take you through the publication process, from pitch to publicity, using Nina Kenwood’s Text Prize winning It Sounded Better in My Head as a case study. You’ll get great insight into what they’re looking for, and how best to present your work to them.
With Khadija Caffoor (Rights), Jamila Khodja (Publicity), Kate Lloyd (Marketing), Jane Pearson (Editorial), Patti Patcha (Sales) Imogen Stubbs (Design)
Hosted by Shalini Kunahlan
1.30pm Workshop: Editing Your Work
Practical and relevant, this workshop will offer you useful skills to refine your writing style. Award-winning YA author, Shivaun Plozza guides us through trusted exercises and insights that will sharpen your editing
2.30pm Adult Content
Writing about teenage sexuality in all its gory and glorious detail can be a challenging task. How do we approach the responsibility of engaging teenagers with conversations around sex and sexuality that are consensual and celebratory?
With Leanne Hall, Ellie Marney and Jodie McAlister
3.45pm Bad Writing
Everyone’s gotta start somewhere… Hear some gems from the archives of Katya de Becerra, Michael Earp and Astrid Scholte