UK Middle-Grade Extravaganza, Nottingham 

The awesome lineup of 33 authors!

Saturday 17th October came around, and Nottingham hosted yet another literary event – this time a Middle-Grade Extravaganza!

The waiting crowd…

Now, I’m not an MG writer, but I do read it. Plus, I follow many of the attending authors on Twitter, and wasn’t about the pass on the chance to meet them in real life!
 Nottingham Central Library staff, Emma Pass, Paula Rawsthorne and Kerry Drewery, organisers and compere.

Organisers Emma and Kerry had outdone themselves again. Everything from the venue to the abundance of cupcake was perfect, and the room was packed to standing-room only!

Organiser Emma Pass

The day ran pretty much in the same way as UKYAX, with short panels punctuated with opportunities for cake, signings and chatting to the awesome authors in attendance.

 The first panel, including Tamsyn Murray and Matt Ralphs

It was wonderful to see the mixture of established and debut authors at UKMGX, and the panels hosted a mixture of genres and reader age-ranges.

 Tamsyn talks about her Completely Cassidy series

Authors had two minutes to pitch their work, followed by five minutes of questions from the audience. Naturally, the children in the audience had the best questions!

 In the second panel, author of The Dreamsnatcher Abi Elphinstone takes to the floor.

I’ve admired Abi for her perseverance in writing and her adventurous nature for so long, it was fantastic to be able to meet her at last!

 Recently returned from Mongolia, the author described her adventures with eagle hunters.

Not everyone can carry off a panel with a wildcat and catapults, but Abi does it flawlessly.

Mo O’Hara, author of My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

O’Hara described the real-life ressurection of her fish!

Panel Three with Allan Buroughs, Emma Carroll and Joanna Nadin

A mixture of fantasy, historical and contemporary fiction-writers were at UKMGX, and yet everyone gelled together so well.

Meeting the beautiful and inspiring Abi Elphinstone

Lifetime achievement unlocked!

Joanna Nadin reads from Joe All Alone

How would you survive on £20 for a week, and your first time alone in the house? Nadin’s book sounds fantastic.

Allan describes his books, and Earth-wandering

It seems like many authors use their travels as inspiration. Can I use this as an excuse to book more holidays, do you think?

The lovely Emma Carroll talks about her latest works In Darkling Wood and the novella The Snow Sister

I love the historical aspect of Emma Carroll’s books, and they’re real crossover appealers, with their raised questions about zeitgeist and magic.

A panel of superhero-loving authors!

The children’s questions naturally revolved around superheroes!
Jo Cotterill dresses as her latest character Electrigirl!

Half-comic strip, half-prose, Electrigirl sounds fantastic,

Another panel, and another dose of inspiration

And more stories based on real-life experiences, from almost losing a family farm to meeting and learning about the Traveller community.

S F Said on writers as readers. “Write the book you want to read!”
And the location of the next event is announced… NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE!

I am already excited for this! I love Newcastle, and I love these events so much!

Somehow I ended up at the authors’ after-party…

The party in full swing

I had an utterly fantastic day with the UKMGX crew, and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything. Roll on Newcastle!


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