We are delighted to share news of one of our HULF regulars starting up an exciting new project in nearby Bristol targeting young adults. Trevor Stubbs writes:
The Bristol Festival of Literature is coming up next month (17th-27th October 2019). Last spring, I was challenged by a fellow author to make a pitch for an event for young adults as part of the Lit Fest and, as a writer of young adult fiction, I saw the need for such an event immediately.
It would not be about promoting my own work but encouraging teenagers in Bristol to be part of the city’s culture and impact – both regionally and internationally.
Four New Events for Young Adults
The pitch was taken up by Bristol libraries, and we now have not one but four events on the card:
- Fishponds (Wednesday 23rd),
- Bishopston (Thursday 24th)
- Horfield (Saturday 26th)
- on Monday 21st there will be a similar event for schools at Junction 3 library in Easton
The first three events are free of charge and open to all. We have a team of six authors, including myself, who will be answering the questions of young people about reading and writing:
- Adrianne Fitzpatrick
- Kate Frost
- Wendy H Jones
- Stella Wilkinson
- Willow Woods
All of the authors are coming at their own expense and will receive no fee. Of course, they will bring their books to sell, but all they really want to do is be sources of inspiration for the young people.
Young People of Influence
Young people are becoming ever bolder in addressing the burning issues of our times straight on.
- Greta Thunberg, aged 16, has taken on the leaders of the world without fear and restraint in leading the fight against climate change. “How dare you!” she says to all – both the advocates of fossil fuels and the rest of us for sitting around and not getting on with what needs to be done.
- Mulala Yousafzai is campaigning for girl’s education – a message she directs not just at her native Pakistan but to all of us.
A few years ago, I was criticised by a young woman for being too male, middle-class and white. At the time I didn’t know what I could do about any of that, but thinking about it since, I think I know what she meant. I was too establishment, too ponderous, too content with the world as it was. We can’t help being some of the things that go with being comparatively rich, well-feed and looked up to – as a retired vicar, I know what that means – but we can make sure we are not content with a world that is falling apart.
The science of global warming, the horrific statistics on world poverty and the impact of violence (to call it ‘war’ is to be too polite) on people and our environment is tearing our planet and human society apart; it is not sustainable.
Our young people want to be heard. We need to give them a voice and this is where encouraging them to read critically and write effectively comes in.
The aim of the Young Adults events in four of our Bristol libraries is to help our teenagers to discover their voices, their talents for writing and other forms of self-expression so that they can make their own contributions to the debate that will change our world for the better. The times are critical; it will be the younger generations that will suffer the full implications of the things we do, or fail to do, now.
Let our young people learn, let them speak, let them write and let us all listen.