Book work always takes a back seat over summer as I spend time with my own lovely children, but I still managed to squeeze a couple of events into the six weeks holiday this year, and the highlight was the NYALitFest and KIDSLitFest in Preston.
The YA program focussed on panels and discussion, while the Kids program was packed full of workshops for young readers. I'm yet to find a better value festival (tickets were £4 and included all events) so definitely keep your eyes out for it next year. (https://nyalitfest.wordpress.com/) Also, I can only imagine how cool it would be as a 9-12 year old, sitting in a lecture theatre like a student!
I was so impressed by the kids that showed up for a FULL day of workshops and activities, and kept their creativity bubbling to the very end! Some of the children who wowed me with the comic creations at 10am I heard brainstorming plots with Daniel Dockery at lunchtime and were still asking questions of panel chair Jennifer Claessen during the final panel of the day — Dare To Be Different — at 4pm.
I was the opening act, and challenged the children there to imagine the world through the eyes of their favourite animals...what do they think about all day? The results were amazing — even some of the grown ups joined in!
The joy of an early slot was that I could then relax and enjoy the rest of the day, catch up with some author friends and hear the fascinating stories behind some brilliant YA books.
Every author on the Being You panel — Josh Silver, Nathanael Lessore & Sara Barnard — seemed utterly lovely and their books went straight on my to-read list.
(Nathan Lessore's Steady For This was already a firm favourite.)
I'll be back next year!