Hay Festival Scribblers Tour closed last Friday 18 February after bringing five exceptional YA writers direct to 741 Year 7-10 school pupils across Wales in inspiring free, in-person events hosted at University of South Wales, Swansea University, Aberystwyth University, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Wrexham Glyndwr University.
Running 7-11 February and 14-18 February, the Scribblers Tour aimed to engage and encourage the next generation in storytelling and conversation, inspiring empathy and creativity. Now in its eleventh year, the tour also gave pupils a chance to experience a taste of life on a university campus.
Compèred by YA writer Jenny Valentine, sessions for Year 7-8 pupils featured interactive activities with poet, playwright and bestselling novelist Kiran Millwood Hargrave and one of the UK’s most respected spoken word artists Steven Camden, while sessions for Year 9-10 pupils were led by actor, writer and director Manjeet Mann and children’s author, performance poet and playwright Joseph Coelho.
In total, 24 schools from across Wales got involved with activities ranging from writing mesostics with Joseph Coelho through to creating their own perilous island adventures with Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
Hannah Rees, teacher at Ysgol Rhydywaun, said: “The pupils enjoyed meeting the authors and had the opportunity to think creatively and develop ideas in different ways that could then be developed later in the classroom.”
Aine Venables, Education Manager at Hay Festival, said: “Every May in Hay-on-Wye thousands of young people join us to meet their writing heroes and our Scribblers Tour takes this a step further by bringing Hay Festival direct to them. In these free Festival days we wanted to start conversations with young people, hear their voices and celebrate the power of writing and reading for pleasure. We were delighted to welcome a star line-up of writers Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Steven Camden, Manjeet Mann and Joseph Coelho, who make for an inspiring team to guide pupils on their creative journeys. We would like to send a huge thank you to all the universities and the First Campus teams for welcoming us on to their campuses to make the Scribblers Tour possible.”