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Tackling taboo in the young adult novel

Festival of Ideas


Saturday 15 September 2018
3.30 — 4.30pm

This event has now ended

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Novels written for young adults (YA) are widely recognised for confronting taboo topics including drugs, underage sex and racism. Join three leading authors as they reflect on the scope of the YA genre and its wide-ranging themes.

Chaired by the writer and broadcaster Nicolette Jones, authors Malorie Blackman (Noughts and Crosses), Melvin Burgess (Junk) and Juno Dawson (The Gender Games) discuss why they write YA fiction, what they think makes a ‘good’ YA novel and debate whether any topic is ever off-limits in this expansive genre.

Malorie Blackman

Blackman has written over 60 books for children and young adults, including the Noughts and Crosses series, the novel Thief!, and most recently her science fiction thriller, Chasing the Stars. In 2008, she was awarded an OBE and between 2013 and 2015 she was made the national Children’s Laureate.

Melvin Burgess

Burgess has written over 30 books for young people since his first book, The Cry of the Wolf, was published in 1990. In 1997 his international bestseller Junk won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award and the Carnegie Medal and twenty years after publication it was awarded the YA book Prize Special Achievement Award.

Juno Dawson

Dawson is the multi-award-winning author of six novels for young adults including the bestselling World Book Day title: Spot the Difference, The Gender Games and most recently Clean. She also wrote the best-selling non-fiction guide for young LGBT people This Book is Gay.

This event will be followed by a Q&A.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Saturday 15 September 2018

3.30 — 4.30pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£12, £8 concessions