Top talents in young adult literature have expressed their excitement at being part of Wigtown Book Festival’s 10thannual YA programme.
This year’s YA programme, which is curated and delivered by a panel of young people, will take place almost entirely online – building on the success of last year’s digital events in providing access for a far wider audience.
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, who will be talking about her highly anticipated high school thriller Ace of Spades, said: “I am so excited for the Wigtown Book Festival!
“As someone who has lived in Scotland for a few years now, I love that this festival celebrates the wealth of literature in Scotland, bringing readers and writers together to share the love of reading.”
Caleb Azumah Nelson, who will be discussing his debut novel Open Water which is about two Black British artists falling in and out of love, added that he feels book festivals are hugely valuable in promoting literature among young people.
He said: “I’m looking forward to taking part in Wigtown’s YA programme. For me, it’s important that we cultivate and curate a space for expression and storytelling in young people, which in turn forges connection and community.”
The festival takes place from 22 September to 4 October and the YA programme features around 15 events ranging from talks by authors to a performance poetry workshop and an open mic session.
You can also join Renita Boyle in Galloway House Gardens for Words in the Woods: a story, poem, song and a gentle walk.
The YA programme has also teamed up with The Diverse Books Awards to organise an event featuring Sue Cheung discussing her book Chinglish which tells the story of Jo Kwan, a teenager growing up in 1980s Coventry.
Andy Stewart, Wigtown Festival Company’s Children’s and Young People’s Officer, said: “We’re really looking forward to our 10th anniversary programme – there are some excellent authors taking part and the response has been great so far.
“Last year we were forced to go digital by COVID and it worked so well we decided to keep it that way. A lot of young people who would love to take part just don’t have the money, resources or even the transport to get to Wigtown for in-person events, especially if they are studying or working. So this is a way to really broaden access.
“But for those who can come along we have workshops, open mics and other activities on offer.
“We’re also really pleased to be collaborating with the Diverse Book Awards to share events with each other’s audiences.”
This year’s Wigtown Book Festival is being supported by funders including the Holywood Trust, DG Unlimited (as part of its Together Again season), Dumfries and Galloway Council and EventScotland.