2015 Programme

There will be panel and ‘in conversation’ events in the Civic Centre (‘UKYA’ Hall and ‘YA/MG’ Hall), workshops in Uxbridge Library, and Middle Grade (MG) events (panels and workshops) in Uxbridge Waterstone’s (MG Central). Find our more about how we developed this programme here.


Uxbridge Library – Workshop Programme:

10.30am – 11.15am Faye BirdSitting on Both Sides of the Desk: Writing & agenting, novels & scripts

Faye will use her experience, both as a former agent for television scriptwriters and as a YA author, to inspire you to create your own characters and get them talking.

11.30am – 12.15pm Jason RohanShow, Don’t Tell To Reveal Character

Jason will draw on his experience of performing theatre and working with comics to show how to bring characters to life and how to convey important background information without lengthy narrative. [MG event, suitable for age 7-11 as well as adults]

12:30 – 1:15pm Siobhan CurhamTrue Face: Be Real. Be Fearless. Be You!

Siobhan will explore techniques for resisting pressure from the ‘perfection police’ to help you take off the masks you wear and proudly reveal your true self to the world. The workshop will provide a supportive environment to discuss how to be honest, dream big and create a life that is happy and fulfilling.

1.30pm – 2.15pm

Workshop Bay 1: Taran Matharu – Creating Fantasy Worlds

Taran will explore how to create compelling original worlds and share his own experience of how to leverage social media and online opportunities to create modern avenues to traditional publication.

Workshop Bay 3: Lucy Ivison & Tom Ellen – Authentic voice and lots of LOLs

Tom and Lucy will encourage you to turn your most cringeworthy moments into comedy gold. Come along, have a giggle and walk away with your own socially awkward piece of writing.

2.30pm – 3:30pm Vlogging Workshops

Workshop Bay 1: Benjamin of Tomes – Getting started with Vlogging

A star vlogger with over 43,000 subscribers on YouTube, Ben was shortlisted as Champion Vlogger in the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards. Ben’s workshop will help you get started with vlogging and booktubing. Don’t know how to get a YouTube channel or how to hide your date of birth? Don’t know how to get comfortable in front of the camera or what to wear/what not to wear? Ben will answer your questions and explain how to create a safe, comfortable approach that suits you. Find Ben on Twitter @Benjaminoftomes.

Ben will also be available to talk to one-on-one about vlogging, booktubing, social media and publishing, including the differences between UK and US publishing, using examples from his experience as a vlogger and as Social Media Guru for Curiosity Quills. Find him at the far end of the Civic Centre signing area!

Workshop Bay 3: Michelle of Fluttering Butterflies – Vlogging Group Projects

Shortlisted as Champion Adult Blogger in the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards, Michelle blogs and vlogs, including as part of the brilliant Bookish Brits team. She’ll be talking about group projects, reading challenges and how to stand out from the crowd. Find Michelle on Twitter @cloverness (watch out for the autocorrect that quite understandably turns her handle into @cleverness).

3.45pm – 4.45pm Blogging Workshops

Workshop Bay 1: Chrissi of Chrissi Reads and Beth of Bibliobeth – Getting started with Blogging

Shortlisted for the Champion Newcomer category of the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards, Chrissi and her sister, fellow ace blogger Beth, will help you develop the skills and confidence to build a great blog that is sustainable and enjoyable for you and your followers. The perfect workshop for those who are curious about starting a blog, those who’ve just done so and those still relatively new to blogging. Find Chrissi on Twitter @ChrissiReads and Beth at @Bibliobeth1.

Workshop Bay 3: Debbie of Snuggling on the Sofa and Daphne of Winged Reviews – Developing your blog’s brand and gaining followers

Debbie (shortlisted for the Champion of YA category at the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards) and Daphne (winner of the Champion of Social Media category) will host a workshop perfect for people who’ve been blogging for a while and want to know more about how to create a brand, set themselves apart and grow their following. Find Debbie on Twitter @SnugglingonSofa and Daphne @wingedreviews.

5pm – 6pm Reviewing Diversity in Literature & Fan Activism, Stories & B/Vlogging

Bay 1: Jim Dean of YA Yeah Yeah and Wei Ming Kam of Rare, Medium, Well Done – Reviewing Diversity in Literature: Probably the first and hopefully the last workshop needed

Ming and Jim (winner of the Champion of Diversity mantle at the inaugural UKYA Blogger Awards) will discuss some of the major questions about diversity in YA fiction and how they apply to bloggers and vloggers. How important is it to review diverse books and support diverse authors? What IS a diverse book, for that matter? Should reviewers talk about diversity when it’s not a key part of the plot, or isn’t obvious until some way into the book Do bloggers have a responsibility to call out problematic representations of diversity? The workshop will explore these issues and practical advice on how to discuss diversity in a positive way on your blog. WARNING: controversy and uncomfortable truths ahead! Find Jim on Twitter @yayeahyeah and Ming @weimingkam.

Bay 3: Kirsty Stanley of Kirstyes–  Fan Activism, Stories and B/Vlogging (winner of the Workshop Competition)

Stories have the power to influence change: attitudinal change, behavioural change and social change. Using the Harry Potter Alliance as an example, Kirsty will discuss how Harry Potter has inspired campaigns that have led to real change in readers’ communities. She’ll then explore how you could use your blog/vlog to put your principles into action. What are you passionate about? What campaigns or services or groups do you wish existed? What change do you want to see in the world? This is the perfect place to explore how to do something about those questions in a way that’ll help you connect with others who might join in and help turn your ideas into reality.

Kirsty is an Occupational Therapist, writer and blogger. As well as running her Chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance, she is the UK/Ireland Chapter Liaison for the HPA: a fan activist charity. She is hugely passionate about Harry Potter, YA literature, occupational therapy, mental health awareness, diversity and social justice. On top of all this, she us currently working on a PhD entitled ‘Why We Are Writers: Relationships and the Occupation of Creative Writing’.

Huge thanks to Jim and Luna of Luna’s Little Library for all the help and advice developing the blogging and vlogging workshop programme.


‘UKYA’ Hall (Civic Hall, Civic Centre):

10:10am – 10:15am YA Shot Opening: News About the Year-Long Legacy Programme

10:15am – 11.15am Surviving Secondary School: The joys of High School and other myths – Chaired by Eve Ainsworth with RJ Morgan, Alice Oseman and David Owen

11.30am – 12.30pm Playing with Time: Historical fiction and historical settings – Chaired by Natasha Farrant with Lucy Coats, Rhian Ivory and Alison Rattle

12.45pm – 1.45pm Crime and Punishment: Fictional wrongdoing and human rights – Chaired by Laura Jarratt with Cat Clarke, Keren David and Emma Haughton

2pm – 3pm Trigger Warning: Exploring sensitive issues in ethical ways – Chaired by Alexia Casale with Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne and Louisa Reid

3.20pm – 4.20pm The Stuff of Nightmares: Using dystopia and horror to explore social issues – Chaired by Laure Eve with James Dawson, Antonia Honeywell and Emma Pass

4.40pm – 5.40pm Make ‘Em Laugh: Using humour to create empathy and understanding – Chaired by Matt Whyman with Ben Davis, Andy Robb and CJ Skuse

6pm– 7pm Women Re-writing Worlds: Heroines of Fantasy – Chaired by Ellen Renner with CJ DaughertyGary Meehan and Melinda Salisbury

7.20pm – 8.30pm In conversation: Tom Pollock and Samantha Shannon

8.30pm – 8.40pm That’s a wrap!


MG Central (Waterstone’s Uxbridge) Events:

10am – 10.45am Sowing the Seeds of Magic workshop with Ian Johnstone – How to make the mystical and magical come alive using language, place, character, cunning and the things of everyday life.

11am – 12noon Daring Do!: High stakes versus safety nets in MG adventures – Chaired by Sally Nicholls with Emma Trevayne and Kiera O’Brien

2pm – 2.45pm What’s Your Superpower? Create your own superhero in this hands-on crafty workshop with Susie Day

3pm – 4pm Weird and Wonderful: The familiar and the fantastical in MG fiction – Chaired by Abi Elphinstone with Nigel McDowellJason Rohan and Tatum Flynn

4.15pm – 5pm Workshop with Giancarlo Gemin: Cows to Cowgirl 

5.15pm – 6.15pm Into the Past: Exploring history in MG fiction – Chaired by Emma Carroll with Katherine Woodfine and Anne Booth

All the MG Central events are suitable for children aged 7-11 as well as adults.


‘YA/MG’ Hall (Hall CR6, Civic Centre) Events:

10.15am – 11.15am Intrepid Girls: Adventure heroines – Chaired by Sam Oseman (Sam Hepburn) with Sarah Sky and Kerry Drewery

11.30am – 12.30pm Diverse Lives: Looking beyond labels – Chaired by Sarah Benwell with Candy Gourlay and Lisa Williamson

12.45pm – 1.45pm Treasured Land: Nature as a character and concern in YA – Chaired by Piers Torday with Lisa Heathfield and Anna McKerrow

2pm – 3pm In conversation: Tim Bowler and Frances Hardinge chaired by Katherine Webber, BookTrust Programme Coordinator and soon-to-be-published YA author.

3.20pm – 4.20pm No Escape: The enduring fascination with horror – Chaired by Lou Morgan with Dawn Kurtagich and Sangu Mandanna

4.40pm – 5.40pm Tragedy! Tackling sadness in fiction for younger teens – Chaired by Candy Gorlay with Jane Elson and Aoife Walsh [MG event, suitable for children aged 7-11 as well as adults]

6pm – 7pm Subverting Stereotypes: Transforming myths, legends and pop culture – Chaired by Lu Hersey with Liz de Jager and Stefan Mohamed

7.20pm – 8.20pm Hopeless Romantic: Doomed lovers and ideals of romance – Chaired by Lauren James with Cat Doyle and Lucy Saxon


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    • Hi, Jaden! Yes, you’ll be welcome at any and all the events, MG AND YA. The MG restrictions are just for people aged 7-11, who can only go to MG events and only with an adult accompanying them. Hope to see you there!


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