Hay Festival Scribblers Tour 2024

Hay Festival Scribblers Tour brings authors, poets and performers to lead interactive events with students in Years 7–10 at schools across Wales. The events take place in Welsh universities annually in January/February, thanks to Welsh Government funding.

In our 2024 workshop series, pupils built stories, asked questions and expressed themselves through the power of writing. Authors and compères spent time with the pupils, on and off the stage, to encourage creative conversations throughout the Tour.


Scribblers Newspaper 2024
Scribblers Newspaper 2024
Emma Carroll

Week 1 / Event 1: Emma Carroll

Join queen of historical fiction Emma Carroll, who will be introducing her latest time-travelling adventure, The Tale of Truthwater Lake, which imagines the before and after of global warming. She'll also be sharing some of her top tips for researching and writing your own incredible stories. Expect to be inspired by strange old objects, dogs in top hats, maps and monsters, as well as thinking about what makes YOU tick as a writer. Emma 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.

Karl Nova

Week 1 / Event 2: Karl Nova

Join award-winning wordsmith, Hip Hop artist and poet Karl Nova, who will perform pieces from his new book The Curious Case of Karl Nova. His energetic freestyle performance tells stories that are humorous, personal and inspirational. Karl won the CLiPPA poetry award in 2018 and the Ruth Rendell Award for services to literacy in 2020.

Laura Bates

Week 2 / Event 1: Laura Bates

What if the tales we thought we knew really happened differently? What if some people have been left out of the picture? What if we've only been told half the story? In her workshop, bestselling author Laura Bates will discuss the power of storytelling, brave writing and changing the narrative. We'll look at different ways to flip the script, from rewriting sexist headlines to creating female Arthurian knights, with powerful and sometimes hilarious results. And together we'll ask the question: what if changing the story could change the world? As well as an author, Laura is the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project; she works closely with politicians, businesses, schools, police forces and organisations from the Council of Europe to the United Nations to tackle gender inequality.

Benjamin Dean

Week 2 / Event 2: Benjamin Dean

Join author and former celebrity journalist Benjamin Dean for a creative writing workshop to explore celebrity life and how to survive it! He has interviewed a host of glitzy celebrities and broke the news that Rihanna can't wink (she blinks, in case you were wondering). 

How to Die Famous is Ben's second YA title. Inspired by his time as a celebrity reporter, we follow Abel down the Hollywood rabbit hole where secrets, scandal and just a little bit of murder hide behind the scenes of a popular teen TV show...
Jenny Valentine

Scribblers Tour 2024 Host – Jenny Valentine

Award-winning YA author and teen champion Jenny Valentine will be compèring the Scribblers Tour and encouraging pupils to find their own words to express ideas and creativity throughout the tour.

Day at a glance

10amSchools arrive
10.30am–11.15amEvent 1 – Emma Carroll (week 1) / Laura Bates (week 2)
11.15am–11.30amBreak and book signing
11.30am–12.15pmEvent 2 – Karl Nova (week 1) / Benjamin Dean (week 2)
12.15pm–1pmLunch and book signing
1pm–1.45pmEvent 3 – University session
1.45pm–2pmPupil and teacher evaluation
Hay Festival Scribblers Tour 2024 supporters