Second in the Prime Writers’ series about literary festivals is Kerry Drewery’s experience of setting up her own:
I haven’t been fortunate enough to have been invited to many literary festivals, but I do, along with fellow YA author Emma Pass, organise one. We set up the UK Young Adult and Children’s Extravaganza in a response to the majority of events being in London and many people, especially young people, being unable to get to them.
We wanted to take authors to readers instead, and take as many authors as we could!
Our first was in Birmingham with 30 authors including Christi Daugherty, Rachel Ward, and our very own Prime Writer Christina Banach. Tickets sold out in 24 hours! On the day Waterstones (our venue for the day) was buzzing with readers, bloggers, authors – it was a party atmosphere, all celebrating the immense talent we have in the UK.
The following one we held in Nottingham with 25 YA authors one weekend and 25 MG (9+ age) the following one, lots of cake, lots of books and lots of people. The atmosphere was buzzing and everyone had a fantastic time.
YA Line up at Nottingham 2015
This year we took over Newcastle City Library and held the YA and MG on the same day! The focus with these events is FUN. We have quick fire panels where each author gets two minutes to tell the audience a funny story, pitch their story or make us laugh. We had Kirkland Ciccone doing a catwalk, Paula Rawsthorne telling us about ghosts, and Prime Writer Rachael Lucas talking about her upcoming YA novel, The State of Grace. What I love the most about these is the atmosphere – with no ‘star’ author we’re all on the same level, and we don’t have room for egos!
For me, this from a blogger there on the day, sums it up perfectly –
“There were authors, their families, readers and bloggers just milling. I was a bit speechless. I couldn’t talk to these people, they were famous. I’m a mere peasant in comparison to them. But not to them I wasn’t. I had a voice. I was a person, just like them. And I loved that. We were all people with a love of books. That’s what we were all there to celebrate. We were all celebrating our love of books. And the power of reading.” – Steph
Kerry Drewery YA author of A Brighter Fear, A Dream of Lights and the new thriller CELL 7 available from Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cell-7-Kerry-Drewery/dp/1471405591 and Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/cell-7/kerry-drewery/9781471405594
Find out more by following Kerry on Twitter – @KerryDrewery
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/KerryDrewery