By Mia Re
Fancy snagging exclusive signed copies and bookish freebies of the next big young adult books? Well, book yourself a ticket to a new Waterstones Bookfest in collaboration with Penguin Random House UK Children’s! Swoon over your favourite slow-burn romances, the fresh brewing’s of witch-lit or the zingy friendships of brand new beach reads.
The festival will take place from the 16–17 August with live events in the Waterstones of London Piccadilly, Newcastle, Manchester & Norwich. Each store will feature its own unique set of activities alongside individually priced panels featuring authors including Bea Fitzgerald, Karen M McManus, Joelle Wellington and many more!
Like many, I admit I’ve succumbed to the influence of BookTok, its quick-fire reviews have instantly become the driving factor to my never ending book purchases. These digital bookish communities have become the heart of contemporary publishing and large trade brands are finally starting to take notice.
This year will see Waterstones offer their second round of BookFest, collaborating with the Penguin Random House Children’s division to encourage a wider acceptance of YA into literary realms. But, let’s take a deeper delve into the type of books showcased over the special week. The festival splits its genre focus into thirds, exploring the exhilaration of romance, the decadence of high-fantasy, and thrillers so good I’m practically deceased. All panels and activities will be led by the nine titles figure heading the fest, with all set to be published the week after. So, if you want to beat your friends to the hottest new reads, now you know where to go!
But of course, it wouldn’t be a YA festival without a brand-run Tiktok account. Already launched and counting down the days, @houseofya, created by Penguin Random House Children’s is amping up the hype by curating Swiftie themed reading lists, giving tours of quirky bookshops and chatting to YA’s biggest lovers out and about on London’s streets.
As a reader outside of London, it can be infuriating feeling left out of all the exciting bookish events that happens in the city. This touring festival as the first of its kind, allows those outside of the Big City the ability to meet with brilliant authors and perhaps find their own found family amongst others. It’s also important given just how much of the modern day community is focused online, that events such as this are kept regular and accessible, so everyone time away from their screens and connect with others on a physical level.
My closest marker for this whistle-stop festival is Norwich and I’ll for sure be booking myself in… will you?
The @houseofya account is now live on TikTok and you can book panel tickets to events in London, Norwich, Manchester and Newcastle here!