Lucy Saxon is just 20 years old and the author of Take Back the Skies. She signed her contract with Bloomsbury when she was just 16. She’s a cosplayer, Con-goer and fangirl of all things sci-fi and fantasy. Taran Matharu’s The Summoner became a Wattpad sensation with over three million reads in three months, leading to a publishing deal with Hachette. And Helena Coggan saw her debut novel The Catalyst published at the age of only 15. Find out what makes three extraordinary young writers tick, and be inspired to write a novel before you are 20.
Food security and housing an expanding nation should be priorities for Britain. Both are being thwarted by record land prices. In the past 10 years, farmland value has risen by almost 200 per cent - with feeding the population secondary to speculators buying up thousands of acres to avoid tax. If planning permission is given for new housing, prices may rise 50-fold - making home ownership a distant dream for many. Journalist Peter Hetherington argues that Britain needs much stronger action by the government. Chaired by Andy Fryers.
We are surrounded by an astronomical zoo of familiar and curious objects, from asteroids and zodiacal dust to Alpha Centauri and the centre of the Milky Way. Chris Lintott discusses the many marvels of the cosmos with comedian and impressionist Jon Culshaw, and takes us on a tour of the universe.
Join TV presenter Helen Skelton as she introduces her children’s book, the first in a new action-packed adventure series. Helen reveals how her own incredible real-life experiences and adventures have influenced her writing, from cycling to the South Pole to tightrope walking between the towers of Battersea Power Station. Amazon Summer is based on Helen’s own experiences travelling through the Amazon. Chaired by writer and broadcaster Matt Brown.
On 11 September 2001 our world changed. The West’s response to 9/11 has morphed into a period of ‘exception’. Governments have decided that the rule of law and human rights are often too costly. The Director of Liberty explores why our fundamental rights and freedoms are indispensable and examines the unprecedented pressures those rights are under today. She talks to Susie Symes, economist and chair of 19 Princelet Street.
The philosopher imagines a dream school, which includes 12 of the greatest and most colourful thinkers the world has ever known. Each of these ancient philosophers teaches a technique we can use to transform ourselves and live better lives.
The story of Gabriele D’Annunzio: poet, daredevil and Fascist, who in 1919 declared himself Commandante of the city of Fiume in modern-day Croatia to establish a utopia based on his fascist and artistic ideals. It was the dramatic pinnacle to an outrageous career. Chaired by Sarah Crompton.
Why do naturally talented people frequently fail to reach their potential while other far less gifted individuals go on to achieve amazing things? The secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a passionate persistence. In other words, grit. The MacArthur Genius Award-winning psychologist shares fascinating new revelations about who succeeds in life and why. Chaired by Corisande Albert.
For the first time ever, today’s middle classes will struggle to enjoy the same privileges of security and comfort that their grandparents did. Sidelined by the mega-rich, the middle classes really are under severe threat. How did this situation come about? To survive, they will have to carve a new niche for themselves.
The National Poet of Wales celebrates Dylan Thomas’s centenary with readings and discusses both how the poet influenced her life and his importance to poetry in the English language everywhere.