Celebrating its 10th Birthday this year, Manchester Literature Festival has a particularly impressive Children and Young Peoples line up. With events ranging from a debate on the future of Children’s Poetry (with Michael Rosen no less) to Comic Art Masterclasses and a bumper Family Reading Day with the likes of Lydia Monks, Johnny Duddle, Yasmeen Ismail and Kristina Stephenson in attendance we were really spoilt for choice.
It was, however, the YA event ‘Rebels and Outcasts’ which really stole the show for me. Featuring three amazing authors, Sarah Crossan, Julie Mayhew and Laura Dockrill, this really showcased the best that YA has to offer.
Chaired by Steve Dearden of the Manchester Writing Squad the discussion focused not only on the individual authors and their books but the phenomenon of YA writing itself. Indeed, the event opened with the bold statement that ‘YA has an urgency and a way of engaging with the world, the here and the now, that is perhaps lacking in Adult Literature’.