Call out to authors and publishers as plans unveiled for UCLan Publishing's Northern Young Adult Literary Festival in Preston

Authors and publishers are being invited to pitch for a place at a popular literary festival founded and organised by UCLan Publishing.

By Fiona Finch
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 3:45 pm

The Northern YA (Young Adult) Literary Festival, also known as the NYA festival, will take place on May 21 and 22.

This year there will be a special focus on mindfulness, mental health and humour.

Hazel Holmes, Publisher at UCLan Publishing, manages and organises the festival and associated event Northern Kids Literary Festival.(KIDSLitFest). Both were

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Hazel Holmes, publisher at UCLan Publishing

forced online last year due to the pandemic.

The Young Adults Festival turns a spotlight on books, ranging from fiction to non-fiction and poetry, for those aged 12 and over.

Hazel, who is delighted to have secured £15,000 Arts Council funding for this year's event, said: " We're hoping to have in person events on campus."

The popular festival is also designed to bring authors to the north. Hazel: "This is a away of getting a very London centric industry out of London."

Part of the Northern YA Literary Festival logo

Visitors come from the north west, but also far beyond ,for the events at UCLan's Greenbank building off Cold Bath Street.

Hazel said: "Everything is free. We really want to make sure this is for everyone, regardless of income. We always go for inclusivity and cultural diversity - there'll be something for everybody."

This year, in the wake of the long Covid pandemic, Hazel says there will be "a lot of focus on mental health and mindfulness", but she is also hoping for "a laugh out loud event" with lots of happiness and humour.

The Sunday Northern Kids festival event will be family friendly with many 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 welcomed. She said: "We want to encourage them to get kids on campus and have lots of fun. We want to reach people all across the north west and let everyone know they can come and have a nice weekend with us."

UCLan Publishing has a bumper number of books coming out this year

UCLan Publishing works closely with students on UCLan's MA publishing course. She said: "Students work on live projects because they become part of the team. They learn how to edit, design and typeset and market books. They learn every aspect of publishing...We are a real business and we use our business to showcase best practise."

One of the UCLan Publishing books to be launched at the Festival will be by radio presenter Natasha Devon, who is an advocate for young people's mental health. Hazel said: "We're attracting some really stellar authors on our list. We publish authors from all over the country."

The closing date for pitches from publishers and authors who want to put ideas forward to appear at the Festival is January 28.

For details of last year's NYALitFest and KIDSLitFest see hereFor more about Prestonian Hazel, her career and the Festivals see here* Become a subscriber. For unlimited access to our local reporting take out a subscription here.