Ciccone sets up Scottish YA festival

Ciccone sets up Scottish YA festival

Scottish author Kirkland Ciccone is launching a young adult (YA) festival in Cumbernauld, Scotland.

The author, whose book Conjuring The Infinite won North Lanarkshire’s Catalyst Book Award last year, said he was inspired by the success of last year’s Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC) in London. 

“It became a bit of a personal vendetta for me because all the authors up here were taking about YALC and it was a bit of a case of jealousy,” he told The Bookseller.

The Yay!YA+ one-day festival, a free event for school pupils, will take place on the 24th April at the Cumbernauld Theatre in Cumbernauld. It will feature writing workshops, book signings and talks with Scottish authors such as Catherine MacPhail, Theresa Breslin, Lari Don, RoyGill and Alex Nye. A local bookshop – Scotia Books - will sell YA titles at the event.

Ciccone raised £2,000 for the event from the venue itself and the local council.

“My background was in theatre so instead of raising money through publishers I went to the theatre and the local authorities to get funding,” he said. “I sold it to the theatre by saying it had never been done before, so they stumped up half the money. Then I went to the council and they matched it.”

The event organisers are going to contact school librarians to offer places this week but Ciccone said he has alreadybeen contacted by several schools. “I’ve already had emails asking if it’s true we’re launching a Scottish version of YALC, which shows the impact of that event. If it’s successful will open it up next year to the public.”