A dedicated day for college and sixth form students has been added to this year’s Festival of Literature for Young People at the University of East Anglia.

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Held the first time last summer, the festival welcomed 11 to 17-year-olds from across the region for a week of talks, workshops and performances from writers and poets.

And this year’s event will host a special day for 16 to 18-year-olds for those interested in reading, books, creative writing and even writing-based careers.

Natalie Bailey, festival director, said: “We were delighted by the response we got last year. We had one thousand students from over fifty schools and their response to the festival was that they felt that more students should get the chance to attend.

“We felt it was important to be offering this wonderful chance to as wide an age group as possible. People aged from 16 to 18 may well be considering their next steps in both education and their planned career and many may want to see if writing is something they could do. This is the perfect opportunity to let these young people explore the worlds of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and all forms of writing with some of the experts in the field.”

Talks and workshops will be on offer from writers including slam poet Tim Clare, creator of the Gladiator and Eagle series Simon Scarrow and best-selling novelist Raffaella Barker.

The programme for the week also includes a dedicated professional development day for teachers, librarians and creative practitioners on June 23 and three days of workshops and talks on June 24 to 27.

Supernatural thriller writer Alexander Gordon Smith, award-winning author Bali Rai, teenage fiction pioneer Anne Cassidy and Sally Gardner whose novel Maggot Moon is a best-seller around the world are just some of the popular authors holding readings and talks throughout the week.

Workshops will look at everything from where writers’ stories come from, creating satire and graphic novel creation to writing poetry, exploring how science fiction draws on the real world and creating characters.

Patrick Ness will also appear at the Norwich Playhouse on the evening of June 24, in association with Writers’ Centre Norwich.

Sixth form and college students are welcome, as are all 16 to 18-year-olds.

• The festival takes place at the UEA on June 23-27.

• For more information about attending the festival as a school group or as an individual for the sixth form and college day, visit www.uea.ac.uk/fly. Bookings can be made by individuals and do not need to come through a school or college.

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