Emily Critchley and Lucy Strange

Much-admired Canterbury-based children's writer Lucy Strange and debut author Emily Critchley talk about their work and why it appeals to both young and older readers. Host: festival co-director Louise Frith.

Set on the Kent coast during the Second World War, Lucy Strange’s second novel is the story of a girl who is small, afraid and unnoticed – a girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overhead and who is destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone... Lucy Strange’s first novel, The Secret of Nightingale Wood, was published in 2016 and was Waterstones Book of the Month, shortlisted for the North East Book Award and the Awesome Book Award.

Emily Critchley’s first novel – chosen by Nicolette Jones as Book of the Week in The Times – is a sharply observed young adult/adult crossover that tells the story of a family in crisis. Told in an understated narrative voice reminiscent of Mark Haddon, a bright 13-year-old on the autism spectrum suffers violent attention at school and selfish neglect at home.

Emily Critchley grew up in Essex. She left school at sixteen and worked in various shops and call centres where she jotted down ideas for short stories and poems on scraps of till roll. She moved to Brighton in 2012 then to London in 2013, where she studied Creative Writing at London Metropolitan University. She graduated with a First Class Honours degree.

Saturday 23 February, Alexander Centre, Room 2, 11am–12noon. This event will be of interest to adults and young people.

Book tickets for this event here.

Book day pass for this event, plus Mark Bowsher/Ben Parker and young adult workshops here

All children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult at events. Note: accompanying adults do not need to purchase a ticket.