The University of Central Lancashire’s publishing department is launching the Northern YA Literary Festival featuring speakers such as Holly Black, Samantha Shannon and Annabel Pitcher.
The university created the event to help promote its new BA in Publishing course, as well as reach YA fans who don’t live near London, said organiser Hazel Holmes. “YA fans are some of the most loyal fans around, but a lot of events are restricted to London and it just isn't possible for many readers to make the trip to meet their favourite authors.”
The organisers also wanted to “build upon the northern publishing industry” by showing attendees the different roles that exist in publishing, she added.
The day will kick off with a panel discussion on getting published with Danny Weston, Teri Terry and debut author Anna Day. Katherine Webber, Annabel Pitcher, Lauren James and debut author Matt Killeen will then speak at an event about feminism in YA, and Samantha Shannon will finish the festival with an ‘in conversation’ event with Holly Black.
The festival is funded by the university and supported by Waterstones Preston and Lancashire Libraries. All events are free and so far 100 attendees have booked to see Holly Black and nearly 125 have reserved seats for both the ‘getting into publishing’ and ‘feminism in YA’ events, said Holmes.
“If the event goes to plan and we continue to have the support from publishers and authors, we really hope to make this an annual event,” she added.