San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Suitable for ages 12+
What pressures do young women face in today’s society?
In Secrets of a Henna girl, a summer in Pakistan shatters the world of Zeba Khan, while for the heroine of The Foresight Series, Scarlett Roth, life is thrown upside down when she starts having terrifying visions. Join authors Sufiya Ahmed and Amy Keen as they talk about the passions of their heroines and the pressures society places on them. Do young women from different cultures face similar challenges of controlling behaviour and negative attitudes to women? Is there some common ground?
The event will be chaired by Dr Helen Reid, Director of LCI, one of the Big Bookend’s partner organisations. This promises to be a lively event, in which you can ask questions about what it’s like to write for young adults as well as hear the author’s talk about their fabulous books and the life-changing situations their characters face.
Amy Keen is a Young Adult fiction author whose passion for the paranormal drove her to create a series which would deliver the kind of thrills, suspense and intrigue she grew up devouring. Amy studied Journalism and International Relations at University of Lincoln.
Amy’s current project is The Foresight Series – a trilogy that follows Scarlett Roth – a seemingly ordinary girl whose life takes a sudden twist into the sinister and macabre when she moves to Salem; home of the infamous Witch Trials of the 1600’s. Books one and two are out now and the final instalment is underway. The series is the answer to the question: What if the witch trials aren’t over; what if they have evolved?
Sufiya Ahmed is the author of Secrets of the Henna Girl, published by Puffin Books. The book was launched on International Women’s Day at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London 2012. It has been translated into Arabic, Spanish and Polish. Secrets of the Henna Girl has been shortlisted for various awards and won both the ‘Published Writer of the Year’ at the Brit Writers Awards in 2012 and the Best Teenage Book at the Redbridge Children’s Book Award 2013.
When & Where
The Leeds Big Bookend
“Why has there never been a Leeds book festival?” Was the question asked by Leeds author Anthony Clavane at one of his events in 2011, and echoed by many others.
Several of the now Big Bookend team were at that event and were inspired to take up the challenge and try to bring such a festival to Leeds. In 2012 we did just that. Over 400 people came to see 15 authors talk about their lives, experiences and passion for the written and spoken word.
In June 2013, our Rock Festival for Words was bigger and better. We had writers, poets, authors, story tellers and performers taking part in the festival in different venues across Leeds, with over 600 people attending our events.
Our aim has always been to celebrate Leeds’ rich literary heritage and to inspire the next generation. 2013 saw the UK’s greatest poet Tony Harrison headlining the Big Bookend ably supported by the very talented Leeds Young Authors.
Our LS13 writing competition unearthed 20 of the best writers in Leeds under the age of 40 and produced an anthology of writing that is a snapshot of the city’s writing talent.
2014 has been our most ambitious year yet. For the first time ever we received Arts Council funding which enabled us to provide not only a main programme but more events for children and a programme aimed specifically at young people. We had over 60 writers, authors, poets, performers and artists taking part and we attracted nearly 1500 people to the festival. Our head line author was the legendary Alan Bennett.
In 2015 our June festival mapped Leeds. You can read all about it here. In November we had our Children's Festival Day, Earth, Fire and Ink at the Royal Armouries, Leeds. We did much more besides, check out our Review of 2015.
In 2016 our festival crossed city limits with a jam packed programme of events in May and June. You can read more about it here. Our Children's Festival Day took place on Saturday 19th November at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds. A fun packed day on the theme of journeys was had by all. Check out our photo album here.
The Big Bookend team are all volunteers. The Big Bookend is a non profit making company limited by guarantee with charitable objectives. Any extra money generated from the Big Bookend is put straight back into the fund and used for the next Big Bookend festival.
If you think you can help us in any way, please get in contact. We’d love to hear from you.