The Evening Standard and Netflix are launching the Stories Festival and competition “to inspire a new generation of storytellers”, featuring Jed Mercurio, Naoise Dolan and Will Young.
The Stories Festival will take place from 24th to 26th September in a central London location where the competition winners will be announced.
It will feature “Line of Duty” creator Mercurio, politician and author Rabina Khan, musician and writer Young (pictured) along with Exciting Times (W&N) novelist Dolan. The festival will also feature a showcase from Stormzy’s #MerkyBooks imprint featuring young writers and a “proof party” from Dialogue Books.
The festival “will celebrate a diverse range of talent; debut novelists, poets, screenwriters—sharing their stories, and their unique approach to live audiences,” organisers said. Waterstones is acting as the books partner.
A What’s Your Story? competition aims to discover a new generation of voices and will be judged by panels drawn from across the creative industries with two categories, for young adults (aged from 11 to 17) and adults (18 and over). Prize winners will receive a writing mentorship, publication on the Standard website and have the opportunity to present their work at the Stories Festival in September. Entries opened on 19th May and close on 30th June.
Young will judge the young adult competition alongside Netflix director Alexi Wheeler and Phoebe Luckhurst, novelist and features editor of the Evening Standard. Anne Mensah, v.p. for original series at Netflix, will judge the adult category joined by Katie Law, Evening Standard books editor, Sam Parker editor-in-chief of the Penguin website, and Bea Carvalho, head fiction buyer for Waterstones.
Mensah said: “We’re a nation of storytellers and the work of our authors, screenwriters, playwrights, journalists and musicians has always resonated with the world. The breadth and depth of talent here is the reason why the UK is a natural home for Netflix. We’re incredibly proud to support the Stories Festival, which will inspire the next generation of young writers, wherever they may be and whatever their background.”
Tickets go on sale in early July. For more information visit the festival website.