Generation Next: Empowering Voices

Generation Next: Empowering Voices

‘I used to comfort myself with the belief that it was only certain individuals and their peculiar notions that spoilt things for the rest of us. But how many individuals does it take before it's not the individuals who are prejudiced but society itself?’.  

Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses series turns 20 this year, and her sharp reflection on the dangerous, fragile and arbitrary prejudices which underpin society can be felt in the actions and activism of the young people who grew up with her books: a generation which continues to hold society, businesses, politicians and people of influence to account for their past and present misdeeds and biases. This year’s series of events for young adults takes a fearless and unflinching look at the issues affecting young people today. From tackling racism, and class and gender stereotypes, to celebrating diversity in all its forms, and empowering people to make their voices heard, these events offer exciting and challenging perspectives for anyone wanting to learn how to make a difference in an ever-changing world.


Malorie Blackman: Noughts & Crosses, 20 Years On

Age 12+

Saturday 14 August 14:30 - 15:30

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Published twenty years ago this year, Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses broke the hearts of a generation of teenage readers, and its influence on Young Adult fiction can be felt across the genre with the themes of racism, diversity and conflict...

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé: Play the Cards You're Dealt

Age 14+

Sunday 15 August 17:15 - 18:15

Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé is the instant New York Times and IndieBound bestselling author of Ace of Spades. Described as ‘this summer’s hottest YA debut’, the thriller will literally have you on the edge of your seat right up to the final...

Steve Antony, Maureen Phillip & Alexandra Strick: Just Be Yourself

All Ages (LD Friendly)

Monday 16 August 10:00 - 10:40

Captioned, Learning disability friendly
‘You can... be brave, be beautiful, be clever, be strong...’ Follow the story of an independent and inspirational group of children as they grow up and discover what they want to be in You Can!, the wonderful new picture book from author Alexandra...
Come along to hear from Belles author Dhonielle Clayton; the New York Times bestselling authors Tiffany D Jackson and Nic Stone; Angie Thomas, the author of global hit The Hate U Give; The Beauty that Remains author Ashley Woodfolk; and Nicola Yoon,...
What happens when a book gets translated? How do words and pictures travel from one language into another and who’s involved? This event is your chance to follow the journey every step of the way, from the very beginning when the idea was born in the...

What's the T? with Juno Dawson & Special Guests

Age 14+

Monday 23 August 10:15 - 11:00

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Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Stonewall ambassador, bestselling author and former PSHE teacher Juno Dawson as she talks about her new book What’s the T? along with special guests including award-winning writer, model and contributor Jamie...

Liz Kessler & Alex Wheatle: Whose Side of History Are You On?

Age 12+

Tuesday 24 August 10:15 - 11:00

Historical fiction is a great way to learn about the past from a human perspective, and today’s stories tackle two troubling times in history. Alex’s Cane Warriors recounts the brutal uprising of slave plantation workers in 1760’s Jamaica, while...

Flash Forward with Femi Fadugba, Ben Oliver & Jonathan Stroud

Age 14+

Wednesday 25 August 10:15 - 11:00

Fictionalising the future can be a brilliant way to help us reflect on and process uncomfortable issues in the present day, and in this event you get to meet three authors who help you to do just that. From a world where climate disaster has transformed...

Inside Your Head with Brian Conaghan & Patrice Lawrence

Age 11+

Thursday 26 August 10:15 - 11:00

BSL Interpreted
Join two award-winning writers to hear about their new novels, Rat and Cardboard Cowboys, which both explore the community around us and how we all make judgements about others, sometimes without even realising it. Covering topics of empathy,...

Happy Here with Dean Atta, Patrice Lawrence & Yomi Sode

Age 11+

Friday 27 August 10:00 - 10:45

Join us for the launch of Happy Here, a brilliant new anthology of stories from Black British authors and illustrators. On the panel we welcome three of the writers who have contributed their heartfelt stories, for an event exploring the themes of joy,...