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Friday 28 June: Nothing New

The fear of the blank page often stops people writing but it doesn't have to. Today three successful authors will show students how books have inspired their writing, how stories lead back to previous stories, and how their own books have inspired other authors.


10.30am Author talkMelvin Burgess

Melvin is a mutli-award winning novelist who, it can be argued, created young adult fiction as it is today. He became famous in 1998 with the publciation of Junk, a hard-hitting novel which became one of the best-known young adult books of the decade. His subsequent books were just as pwerful and were, as he has noted, the kind of books he wishes he'd haf at 15. His novels include Burning Issy, Bloodsong, The Hit and the Billy Elliot novelisation. 

Melvin is a passionate advocate for the rights of teenages to read honest, authentic books which prepare and empower them to cope with the realities of life. He will be discussing the issues surrounding this and his outstanding new contemporary fantasy novel, The Lost Witch.


12.30pm Nothing New workshops

A selection of workshops exploring how writing is influenced by the books that come before it.


1.45pm In Conversation: Vanessa Harbour and Alexander Gordon Smith. Antoinette Moses as chair

Vanessa is an accomplished writer and creative writing lecturer, author of the wonderful, page-turning novel Flight, set in World War Tweo and with the "perfect ingredients of horses, an exciting and engaging plot, believable characters and that little sprinkle of magic writing". (Lucy Coats)

Gordon was born in, and grew up in, Norfolk; he is a UEA alumnus and the author of a number of brilliant bestselling children's and young adult books. These include The Inventors, The Devil's Engine, Escape From Furnace and The Fury series. He is the author of two creative writing handbooks, Inspired Creative Writing and Writing Bestselling Children's Books, a number of screenplays, several non-fiction books as well as countless short stories and articles. He is also the Patron of FLY.