The Northern YA (Young Adult) Literary Festival, also known as the NYA Festival, will take place May 21-22.
This year, a particular focus will be on mindfulness, mental health and humor.
Hazel Holmes, editor at UCLan Publishing, manages and organizes the festival and associated event Northern Kids Literary Festival (KIDSLitFest). Both were
forced online last year due to the pandemic.
The Young Adults Festival celebrates books, ranging from fiction to non-fiction and poetry, for ages 12 and up.
Hazel, who is delighted to have secured £15,000 Arts Council funding for this year’s event, said: “We are hoping to hold in-person events on campus.
The popular festival is also designed to bring authors to the north. Hazel: “It’s a way to get a very London-centric industry out of London.”
Visitors come from the North West, but also from far beyond, for events at UCLan’s Greenbank building near Cold Bath Street.
Hazel said: “It’s all free. We really want to make sure it’s suitable for everyone, regardless of income. We always prioritize inclusivity and cultural diversity – there will be something for everyone.”
This year, in the wake of the long-running Covid pandemic, Hazel says there will be “a lot of emphasis on mental health and mindfulness”, but she’s also hoping for “a laugh-out-loud event” with lots of happiness and humor.
The Sunday Northern Kids festival event will be family friendly with plenty of activities and workshops for children. Hazel said they now want to spread the message to let parents, young people, teachers and librarians and anyone interested know that they will be welcome. She said: “We want to encourage them to bring the kids to campus and have a lot of fun. We want to reach people all over the North West and let everyone know they can come and have a great weekend. -end with us.”
UCLan Publishing works closely with students of UCLan’s MA publishing course. She said: “Students work on live projects because they are part of the team. They learn to edit, design, compose and market books. They learn all aspects of publishing… We We’re a real business and we use our business to showcase best practices.”
One of the UCLan Publishing books to be launched at the Festival will be by radio presenter Natasha Devon, who advocates for youth mental health. Hazel said, “We attract truly stellar authors to our roster. We publish authors from all over the country.”
The closing date for pitches from publishers and authors who wish to propose ideas to appear at the Festival is January 28.
For details on last year’s NYALitFest and KIDSLitFest, see hereFor more on Prestonian Hazel, his career and the festivals, see here* Become a subscriber. For unlimited access to our local reports, purchase a subscription here.