The University will be hosting the Hay Festival Scribblers Tour this February, which takes YA (Young Adult) writers direct to thousands of school pupils in inspiring free events. Up to 160 school children will have the opportunity to visit Cardiff Metropolitan University on the Cyncoed campus on 7th & 14th February 2019 to attend a full day’s workshop of creative storytelling.
The tour across Wales will be hosted by five universities in total; Cardiff Met, University of South Wales, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University and Wrexham Glyndwr University.
Running 4-8 February and 11-15 February, the Scribblers Tour aims to engage and encourage the next generation in storytelling and conversation, inspiring empathy and creativity. Now in its eighth year, the tour gives pupils a chance to visit their nearest university and experience a taste of life on campus.
YA star Jenny Valentine will compère the events and run writing workshops for the pupils, creating new stories in the university settings using augmented reality technology. Year 7 and Year 8 sessions will then feature conversations and activities with Hip Hop artist, poet and writer Karl Nova and journalist and historical fiction writer Emma Carroll, while Year 9 and Year 10 sessions will feature war correspondent Sue Turton and award-winning novelist Alex Wheatle.
Aine Venables, Education Manager at Hay Festival, said: “Every May in Hay-on-Wye thousands of young people join us to meet their favourite writers, and now we’re bringing Hay to them. In these free festival days we will be sharing stories, debating questions and celebrating the power of writing and reading for pleasure. We want to start conversations with young people, hear their voices and inspire their creative identities.”
Annie Davies, Cardiff Met’s First Campus Mentoring Programme Leader, said: “We are delighted to be working with the Hay Festival once again this year to provide opportunities at Cardiff Met for young people to access these unique creative workshops and to hear from the authors. The innovative workshop with Jenny Valentine, which will see pupils draw inspiration for their story lines based on their tour of the university campus, should inspire the young people to think creatively and develop confidence in their own writing skills.”
Hay Festival Scribblers Tour is funded by the Welsh Government and is part of Hay Festival Foundation’s wider outreach and education work that includes free Schools Days, Hay Academy, Hay Compass, The Beacons Project, School Exchanges, and the Hay Levels, a series of free educational videos.
Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams said: “I’m delighted that the Welsh Government is able to support the fantastic Scribblers Tour at Hay Festival, which is now in its 8th year. Hay festival is renowned throughout the world, and the Scribblers Tour offers our pupils a fantastic opportunity to learn more about literature and creative writing, and listen to amazing inspirational speakers and authors that are masters of their craft. By giving our pupils access to these fantastic experiences, we’re helping to stir their imagination and develop their creative skills, inspiring a new wave of Welsh authors, poets, and playwrights.”
About the speakers
Jenny Valentine is an award-winning YA novelist from Hay-on-Wye. Her debut novel, Finding Violet Park, won the prestigious Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. Her other books include The Ant Colony, The Double Life of Cassiel Roadnight, and the Iggy & Me series. She was Hay Festival Creative Wales International Fellow 2017-18.
Emma Carroll is a secondary school English teacher and writer of historical fiction. She has also worked as a news reporter, an avocado picker and the person who punches holes into Filofax paper. She recently graduated with distinction from Bath Spa University’s MA in Writing for Young People. The Girl Who Walked on Air is Emma’s second novel. She lives in the Somerset hills with her husband and two terriers.
Karl Nova is a Hip Hop artist, author and poet. He was the winner of the 2018 CLiPPA ((Centre for Literacy in Primary Poetry Award) for Rhythm and Poetry, his first published collection. Born and raised in London as well as Lagos, Karl is a social commentator, creative writing workshop facilitator, broadcaster and cultural critic.
Sue Turton is a war correspondent who has been breaking exclusives and dodging gunfire all over the world for 28 years. Her new book This Book Will (help you) Change The World offers guidelines on how to disrupt the system and force change with the help of her own political toolkit and powerhouse guide to activism.
Alex Wheatle MBE is an author and playwright from Brixton. His first novel, Brixton Rock was published in 1999 and tells the story of a 16-year-old boy of mixed race, in 1980s Brixton. Its sequel, Brenton Brown, was published in 2011. His other works include East of Acre Lane, Island Songs, Dirty South, The Seven Sisters and Checkers. In 2010, he wrote and toured the one-man autobiographical performance, Uprising. His play, Shame & Scandal, debuted in 2015.