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UCLan’s second Northern Young Adult Literary Festival is big success

Posted on - 21st March, 2019 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Preston News, UCLan, University, What's On in Preston
Publisher at UCLan Publishing Hazel Holmes with students Johanna Marton and Jess Ferrier
Publisher at UCLan Publishing Hazel Holmes with students Johanna Marton and Jess Ferrier

Over 500 young book fans descended on Preston for the second Northern Young Adult Literary Festival.

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The festival – hosted by UCLan and the only event of its kind to take place in the north of England – brought authors, publishers and other industry experts together with readers and young writers.

The festival’s theme this year was mental health and inclusivity.

Panel discussions took place around inclusivity and character representation, and how mental health is reflected in young adult literature.

Visitors also had the chance to meet their favourite writers including Cold Bath Street author A.J. Hartley, and debut fantasy novelist Rose Edwards who signed copies of her book The Harm Tree for more than two hours.

Review: Cold Bath Street is a perfect Preston ghost story

Head of UCLan Publishing Debbie Williams said: “What a fantastic day. Events like this don’t tend to happen outside of London so we’re very proud to bring something of this scale to Preston.

“We’ve had some amazing feedback from our visitors, many of whom went away feeling very inspired.”

Author Mel Darbon tweeted: “It was a fantastic day and I learned so much and met so many amazing people – authors, bloggers, teachers, librarians, book sellers, and the wonderful readers.”

Award-winning writer Will Hill tweeted: “Had a lovely time at the @NYALitFest yesterday – a really great event, packed with people (despite the weather) and full of enthusiasm for YA books and authors.”

Author Rose Edwards signs books at this year's NYALitFest
Author Rose Edwards signs books at this year’s NYALitFest

Visitors also took to Twitter with one posting: “So many amazing panels and author wisdoms today. Thank you @NYALitFest, may it get bigger and better every year!”

Publisher at UCLan Publishing Hazel Holmes said: “I’m completely overwhelmed with the response so far. It’s just so wonderful to hear what an impact the festival had on readers, teachers and librarians.

“Mental health and inclusiveness is such an important topic, and to have a room packed with more than 500 people all full of empathy and understanding was really quite something.

“We started off pretty small last year, but this was on a completely different scale. I really hope we can make this an annual event.”

Read more: More than 1,000 people attended this literature festival at UCLan

Publisher stalls included Oxford University Press, Faber, David Fickling Books, Macmillan, Walker, Hachette and UCLan Publishing.

Did you attend the festival? Let us know in the comments below.

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