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This IS me (by schwitters)Default

My Weekend In Children's Books

I spent Saturday at YA Shot, a one-day event in Uxbridge celebrating young adult fiction. £20 gets you a sparkly wristband and eight hours of panels, with a choice of four tracks.

The four venues had been given names, so I attended my first panel of the day in Narnia, a.k.a. Uxbridge Library, where there was Turkish Delight on offer, then headed to Waterstones/Wonderland before spending the rest of the day in the Civic Centre's Middle Earth and Ministry of Magic suites.

I heard authors talk about rewriting and editing, magic, feminism, sci-fi and the difficulties of having murders in a children's book. I came away with a lengthy To Read list, including Simon Mason's Running Girl and Barefoot on the Wind by Zoe Marriott.

On Sunday it was off to the very lovely Unicorn Theatre for Wild Wolves, at which two authors who have written books with wolves in talked about their research and experiences. (William Grill's book The Wolves of Currumpaw is based on Ernest Thompson Seton's short story Lobo, and he's also written a book about Shackleton; I need to check both these out!)

At the end of the talk, a sweet and sleepy Labrador guide dog came on stage and the audience was invited to draw her in charcoal.

TL;DR version: there are great things happening in young people's fiction, and young people are reading it avidly. Good news!


Wow! There were some good panels there, by the looks of it - "The Sound of Music: the role and portrayal of music and the music industry in YA", "Pursuit of Happyness: happy YA", "Terms of Endearment: feminism and the portrayal of romance in YA".. do you know if they were taping the panels? I'd rather enjoy seeing some of these. ^_^

I may, however, have to lobby for Watership Down to be one of next year's "venues".

And sparkly is good. ^_^
Not sure - I'll keep an eye on their Twitter!

Most hours there were at least two panels I could happily have gone to, although there weren't any total must-sees. I messed up and went to the murder one instead of the one on friendship I'd planned to attend, but the murder one turned out to be really good!