Hay Festival Scribblers Tour 2024 line-up announced
Hay Festival brings five award-winning Young Adult (YA) writers direct to thousands of Year 7-10 school pupils across Wales next year with the free Scribblers Tour, 29 January-9 February 2024.

Now in its thirteenth year, Hay Festival Scribblers Tour aims to engage and encourage the next generation in storytelling and conversation, inspiring empathy and creativity. 

Compèred by YA novelist Jenny Valentine, sessions for Year 7-8 pupils will feature interactive activities with novelist Emma Carroll and poet Karl Nova, while sessions for Year 9-10 pupils will feature Everyday Sexism founder Laura Bates and author and screenwriter Nikesh Shukla.

Events will be hosted at five Welsh universities – University of South Wales, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Wrexham University – offering pupils a chance to visit their nearest university and experience a taste of life on campus.

In addition, a special Hay Festival Scribblers Tour event will take place for adult learners at University of South Wales with programming details to be announced soon.

The event’s follow last week’s Scribblers Cymraeg, which saw 579 pupils take part in Welsh language events all over Wales, led by writers Aneirin Karadog, Casi Wyn and Nia Morais.

Julie Finch, Hay Festival CEO, said: “We believe ideas can change the world. Hay Festival Scribblers Tour offers thousands of young people a free chance to experience this inspiration, meeting their writing heroes and getting creative with workshops all over Wales. We’re delighted to welcome this inspiring line-up of writers to our 2024 programme: Jenny Valentine, Emma Carroll, Karl Nova, Laura Bates and Nikesh Shukla make for a dream team to embark with pupils on their creative journeys.” 

Hay Festival Scribblers Tour and Scribblers Cymraeg are funded by the Welsh Government and are part of Hay Festival’s outreach and education work that includes the free Programme for Schools and Hay Academy in the UK, and Hay Joven, Hay Communitario and Hay Festivalito internationally. 

The Minister for Education and Welsh Language, Jeremy Miles, said: “It’s great to see Hay Festival Scribblers Tour inspiring pupils with workshops by writers and poets, and offering them an opportunity to visit local universities. I hope to see lots of young people getting involved and discovering a passion for storytelling, reading and writing.”

Hay Festival is one of the world’s leading literary charities, running Festivals to inspire, examine and entertain globally, featuring Nobel Prizewinners and novelists, scientists and politicians, historians, environmentalists and musicians. Over the past year, the Festival earned 1.5 million web visits and passed one million event views online, while its social media following climbed to 350,000, making it one of the most impactful literary events in the world. 

For more information visit hayfestival.org/scribblers/the-scribblers-tour.aspx. And to support Hay Festival’s continued work to reach new audiences, become a Hay Festival Member, Patron or Benefactor today at hayfestival.org/support-us.

About the speakers

Jenny Valentine is an award-winning writer for Young Adults. Her first novel Finding Violet Park won the Guardian's Children's fiction prize in 2007 and since then she has written many books, including Broken Soup and Fire Colour One, as well as a young fiction series Iggy and Me. Her work has been published in 19 countries. In 2017 she was the Hay Festival International Fellow, spending the year meeting and learning from teenagers all over the world. She lives in Hay-on-Wye.

Emma Carroll is a bestselling author and the 'Queen of Historical Fiction' (BookTrust). She has been nominated for and the winner of numerous national, regional and schools awards – including the Books Are My Bag Readers' Award, Branford Boase, CILIP Carnegie Medal, Young Quills, Teach Primary and the Waterstones Book Prize. Emma is one of very few authors to have been Waterstones Book of the Month twice. She lives in Somerset.

Karl Nova is a hip hop artist, performance poet and award-winning author who also works as an educator running hip-hop-flavoured creative writing workshops in schools all over the UK and abroad. His debut collection of poetry and short stories, Rhythm and Poetry, won the 2018 CLiPPA Poetry Award, presented to him at the National Theatre, London by Grace Nichols. The book has been a hit with children as young as seven all the way up into adolescence.

Laura Bates is the Founder of the Everyday Sexism Project and writes regularly for the New York Times, Guardian and Telegraph. She is a regular contributor to the Today programme, Woman’s Hour, Channel 4 News and Newsnight, and has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen's Honours List for services to gender equality. Her latest book is Sisters of Sword and Shadow.

Nikesh Shukla is an author, screenwriter and one of the most prominent UK voices on diversity and inclusion in the arts. He is the editor of bestselling essay collection The Good Immigrant, and the author of a number of novels for both adults and young adults, including Coconut Unlimited (shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize), Meatspace, Run Riot, The Boxer, Brown Baby and co-editor of The Good Immigrant USA.