Odd Voice Out
The Northern YA Lit Festival
Odd Voice Out were proud to be a part of the second annual Northern YA Literary Festival held on a very stormy Saturday 16th March. The event brought readers, writers and publishers of teen fiction together under the same roof at the University of Central Lancashire for a busy day of book fairs and author panels. Hot discussion topics of the festival ranged from talks on Feminist Fantasy Fiction, Inclusion and Mental Health rep and the problem of shaming among teenagers, all issues close to the heart of our OvO ethos. There were also workshops, author signings, agent advice, face painting, bookish jewellery and book exchanges going on on the day, which made for a fun experience all round.
Your founding authors K.C. Finn and Kell Cowley spent most of the day on the lit festival’s first market floor, selling and signing our books, promoting OvO’s inaugural creative writing contest ‘Not So Normal Narrators’ and (most rewardingly) chatting and geeking out with fellow YA readers and writers. We were delighted to have so many visitors to our stall, the vast majority of whom were very happy to sign up to our mailing list and answer our market research question, asking fans what they wish to see in YA fiction that they are not seeing enough of already. So if you’re new to list this week – welcome!
The answers we received called for stories with more racial diversity and LGBT rep, more characters struggling with learning difficulties or mental health issues, stories that tackle global political issues that will affect future generations and more YA novels with historical or mystical settings. We loved all of this, along with a few wackier suggestions such as ‘Dystopias with Dragons’. Needless to say we were excited to confirm that YA fans are looking to read the same type of books we have written or have imminent plans to write!
So a big thank you and a welcome hug to all who’ve joined our mailing list since NYA lit fest. Please follow our various social media feeds and stick with us for monthly newsletter updates. We really hope to see some of you submitting your own stories for our anthology competition, and perhaps we’ll meet up again at YALC 2019 in London this summer!
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