How I Got Here

A series of Hay Festival Compass interviews programmed by young people for young people to explore the varied and often unexpected ways careers can grow. These drop-in events are FREE, with priority entry for 16–25-year-olds.

Jenny Valentine with young people on stage at Hay Festival

Hay Festival piloted this series in 2017 with guest speakers including Marcus du Sautoy, Gemma Cairney and Tracey Chevalier. In 2018 we have expanded the series and created Hay Festival Youth Council to host the sessions along with Beacons Project participants. YA writer Jenny Valentine will mentor this exciting process where students can explore how success can come through non-academic strategies such as risk-taking, determination and agility. These sessions produce fascinating discussions with valuable insights from these fantastic speakers.

Saturday 26 May

11.30am Laura Bates | 5.30pm Eoin Colfer

Sunday 27 May 

2.30pm Michael Wolff | 4pm Shazia Mirza | 5.30pm Jacqueline Wilson

Monday 28 May

11.30am Owen Sheers | 1pm Margaret Atwood

Tuesday 29 May

11.30am Ann Clwyd | 2.30pm Leanne Wood | 5.30pm Mererid Hopwood

Wednesday 30 May

10am Cathy Cassidy | 11.30am Kirsty Williams | 2.30pm David Graeber

Thursday 31 May 

1pm Fiona de Londras | 2.30pm John Sutherland

Friday 1 June

11am David Crystal | 2.30pm Karin Wahl-Jorgensen

Saturday 2 June

11.30am Rose McGowan | 1pm Wendy Ayres-Bennett

Sunday 3 June

10am Bryony Gordon | 1.30pm Bidisha


More events may be added and will be chalk-boarded outside the Compass Venue each day. Each session will last 30 minutes.

Audience for How I Got Here at Hay Festival
Young people at How I Got Here event, Hay Festival