Carnegie Medal winning author to open Lincoln Book Festival 2019 

Melvin Burgess photo by John Coombes

Award-winning young adult fiction author Melvin Burgess will open proceedings at this year’s Lincoln Book Festival as special guest speaker at a free event showcasing new creative writing from people of all ages across the region.

Regarded as one of the best writers of contemporary children’s literature and the ‘godfather’ of young adult fiction, Melvin Burgess won both the Carnegie Medal and The Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize for his acclaimed but controversial novel Junk (1996). He has published more than 20 books for children and young adults since his debut, The Cry of the Wolf, almost 30 years ago, including the novelisation of the film Billy Elliott (2001) based on the screenplay by Lee Hall. His books have covered a diverse range of real-world topics, from drug addiction to dementia, with more recent work moving into fantasy, including his latest novel, The Lost Witch (2018). 

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess (photo by John Coombes)

Melvin Burgess will give a guest talk at the Lincoln Book Festival 2019 Launch Party, which takes place at the historic Lincoln Drill Hall theatre in Freeschool Lane on Monday 23rd September, starting at 6.15pm. The event is free to attend with tickets available from the Drill Hall Box Office. 

At the same event, literacy charity First Story will showcase its valuable work in local schools with readings from some of the young writers who have been developing their writing talents in the classroom with support from First Story’s writers-in-residence scheme.

Winners of two creative writing competitions – the Aurora Writing Prize 2019 (with Writing East Midlands and the Society of Authors) and Lincoln Book Festival’s Flash Fiction Competition 2019 – will also be revealed on the evening. 

This year’s Lincoln Book Festival celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of Queen Victoria with a week-long programme of literary events exploring the long-serving monarch’s life and legacy and the era she defined. Talks with high profile fiction and non-fiction authors will look at how the vast social, cultural and political changes of the 19th Century unfolded and are expressed in literature. 

Lincoln Book Festival Trust Chair Phil Hamlyn Williams said: “If there was to be a theme to this opening event, it would be just one word: fun. We will have informal workshops for the young people who have come along to showcase their work and for those who have come to support them. With fun, there must be food and our sponsors will provide a good spread for all ages. All this and the incomparable Melvin Burgess!”

The Lincoln Book Festival Launch Party provides the opening to a week of literary celebration. Most festival events take place at the Drill Hall or The Collection museum and gallery on Danes Terrace in the city’s cultural quarter. Tickets to author events are usually £10 although some activities are free to attend, including the launch party. 

The full festival programme will be published soon with tickets for all events available from the Drill Hall Box Office. For the latest, visit the Festival Programme page: 

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