Young Adult

“I’m going to train to be a hero instead.” – Diana Wynne Jones

The wonderful world of YA covers teens doing everything: from fighting dystopian governments to challenging gender binaries and living happily ever after. The perfect stage of exploration and change, YA sees some of best and the bravest stories out there. Join us over the course of the weekend as we celebrate the books, the authors, and the heroes, with panels that range from stories of the past to visions of the future and worlds yet to be built.



Beyond the Binary: gender and sexuality in YA - 1.30pm - 2.45pm, Room 38
More and more non-traditional characters enter the YA stage. Characters who defy gender norms and gender binaries. Characters who fall somewhere along the LGBTQIA* spectrum. Characters who kick ass and take names. How does YA explore these new stories, who are the characters we should be paying attention to, and what is there still to come? 
Panel: James Dawson, Tom Pollock, Sarah Benwell, Lauren E James, Laura Lam, Emma Trevayne, Marieke Nijkamp

The Midnight Society: are you afraid of the dark? - 8.30pm - 9.45pm, Connaught B
Haunted houses. Ghastly murders. Horror is making a comeback in YA. Are you afraid of the dark? Join our storytellers as they talk about the tricks of the trade and try to out-scare each other telling spooky ghost stories.
Storytellers: James Dawson, Frances Hardinge, Sarah Lotz, Savannah Lotz


Fantastic Worlds … and where to find them - 10.00am - 11.15am, Connaught B
Making up an entirely new world can be complex, frustrating, and a lot of fun. Join these master worldbuilders as they discuss their worldbuilding process, the challenges they faced, and any tips they have for writers creating their own worlds.
Panel: Emma Trevayne, Joe Abercrombie, Marieke Nijkamp, Amy Alward

From MPDG to SFC: the girls of YA - 8.30pm - 9.45pm
Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Strong Female Characters. Girls in YA literature are often labeled and boxed in. But who are the girl characters behind and beyond the tropes? And what are the characteristics of the modern YA heroine? 
Panel: Mel Salisbury, Liz de Jager, Laura Lam, Sarah Benwell, Amy Alward, Tom Pollock


I Predict a Riot: YA perspectives of the future - 10.00am - 11.45am, Royal B

From near-future science fiction to harrowing dystopias, the YA vision of the future isn't always a cheerful one. Are the stories we tell of a brave new world or a bleak new world? And what does that say for our main characters and our readers? 
Panel: Kim Curran, James Smythe, Francesca Haig, Sophia McDougall

Once Upon a YA: lore and legends in YA literature - 3.15am - 4.30pm, Room 38
In many YA books, especially the speculative ones, storytelling plays an important role. Whether real or fictional, legends, folklore, mythology all give meaning and depth to a world and to characters. But how are legends born? What role do stories play within stories? 
Panel: Mel Salisbury, Frances Hardinge, Tom Pollock, Liz de Jager, Marieke Nijkamp