26. Oct 2017 - 29. Oct 2017
This autumn, the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, and the city’s library Dokk1 joins forces with the renowned Hay Festival to present the first International Children’s Literature Festival in Denmark. The event follows the publication of two anthologies (Odyssey and Quest, translated into Danish and English; edited by Daniel Hahn) which feature new stories written on the theme of ‘journey’ by 39 children’s and young adult authors under the age of 40.
The British Council is delighted to support this event which will enable some of the best writers, illustrators and translators from Britain and Denmark to reach out to children and young adults at workshops, panel discussions and school visits.
Cortina Butler, Director Literature, British Council, said:
"We have worked with Hay Festival supporting their programme of international festivals for many years and were delighted to have the opportunity to work with them on the new childrenís festival in Aarhus. We were very pleased to support the Danish-Polish childrenís illustrator Kamila Slocinska as British Council Illustrator in Residence at Hay Festival this year, and are looking forward to her return to her home city of Aarhus for the festival.
"It is great to see a festival that will help to raise the profile of writing and illustration for children generally and create an international platform for childrenís writers and illustrators to share their work.
"It aligns perfectly with our own British Council Literature focus for the next two to three years on showcasing the work of UK childrenís writers and illustrators. By supporting Aarhus 2017 and Hay Literature Festival, we hope to inspire more children to explore works coming from different cultures and open their imaginations to new ideas."
Cristina Fuentes La Roche, International Director at Hay Festival, said, "Europe is home to some of the best writers for young people of all time. In a world that feels increasingly divided, these borderless shared stories unite us in empathy, encouraging us to experience lives lived in other countries and cultures in a way that nothing else can."
Bridget Collins won the Young National Poetry Competition twice before going on to study English at the University of Cambridge. She then trained as an actor at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), before finally realising that she wanted to be a writer. Her first book, The Traitor Game, won the Branford Boase Award. It was described by The Guardian as "a rich, eventful and elegant parable about dealing with reality by taking refuge in imaginary worlds". She wrote a further six other young adult novels, which were published by Bloomsbury. Bridget has been shortlisted for the Stonewall Awards and the Coventry Inspiration Award, longlisted for the UKLA Award and nominated for the Carnegie Medal several times. Her story, Nearly Home, appears in the Odyssey anthology.
You can read Bridget’s blog here.
Peder Frederik Jensen is a Danish author. He was born in 1978 in Copenhagen and attended Forfatterskolen, The Danish School of Writers. His debut was in 2007 with the novel Her står du (You’re Standing Here). But writing isn’t Peder’s only talent. He is a trained boat-builder and writes about his travels in Africa. Peder received the Albert Dams Mindelegat, a scholarship for Danish writers, in 2012, the Dramatic Debut Award 2015 and the highly prestigious Otto Gelsted Prize in 2016. His story, We’re Practicing to be Grown-ups, appears in Odyssey. You can watch a trailer for Peder’s book Vold here
If you are you also inspired to start writing for children or young adults, you can get some tips in this British Council magazine article about how to be creative and productive according to the rules of Roald Dahl. What should you really consider when writing stories for children? We also have some advice from Don Long about what to consider when writing stories for children.
Danish-Polish illustrator and children’s book writer, Kamila Slocinska, is this year’s British Council Illustrator in Residence. She is based in Aarhus, Denmark and has illustrated many children’s books, including Røver (The Thief) and Paradis by Kim Fupz Aakeson, Heartbeats by Boris Hansen and Wuwu & Co by Merete Pryds Helle. You can read Kamila’s British Council blog from Hay here.
Find out about Kamila Slocinska's Illustration Hub at Aarhus 2017.
Ross Collins is a British illustrator from Shawland in Glasgow. He is based in Scotland and lives with his wife and dog. Ross has illustrated more than one hundred books for children including This Zoo is Not for You, My Amazing Dad and Doodleday. He’s written a few too, such as Elephantom, Sterling and the Canary and Cheesemares. When Ross is not creating children's books, he works on character development for animation studios such as Laika and Disney. In 2016 he won a major human rights prize, Amnesty CILIP Honour, for There’s a Bear on My Chair. Ross’s drawings appear in the Quest anthology.
How do books help us expand our imaginations?
Award-winning author Bernardine Evaristo has written an article for the British Council Voices Magazine about reading books against the internet's distractions, as well as which new writers to look out for. Read Bernardine's article here.
Guy Puzey is a lecturer in Scandinavian Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and a translator of Norwegian literature. He is from Scotland and has been translating since 2006 when he graduated from the University of Edinburgh. Guy says that he ‘likes translating books about waffles and people who know how to sk’. His translations appear in Quest.
You can read Guy’s British Council article about learning Norwegian as a Brit and watch a video of Guy Puzey, Ævar Þór Benediktsson and Katherine Rundell in conversation with Daniel Hahn at this year’s London Book Fair.
Anne Bruce lives on the Isle of Arran in Scotland and has a long-standing love of all things Scandinavian. She studied Norwegian and English at the University of Glasgow. She has translated Wencke Mühleisen’s Should Have Lifted You Carefully Over, Jørn Lier Horst’s Dregs, Anne Holt’s Blessed Are Those Who Thirst, and Days in the History of Silence by Merethe Lindstrøm. Anne’s translations appear in the Odyssey anthology. You can read an excerpt from Anne’s translation of Merethe Lindstrøm’s Days in the History of Silence.
Want to delve deeper into translation to and from the Nordic languages?
Read Christine de Luca’s British Council article about Shetlandic, Nicholas Lawrence’s article about the Swedish language and find out from Penelope Roux of Finnbrit how learning Finnish is "notoriously challenging".