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Two Anthologies for Children and Young Adults will be Published Celebrating Europe's Best Emerging Writers

Alex Chams By Alex Chams Published on March 15, 2017
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Aarhus, Denmark, is this year’s European Capital of Culture and one of its projects is the creation of two anthologies of stories for children and young adults by 39 writers from all over Europe under the age of 40, in conjunction with the International Children’s Literature Hay Festival that will be held from the 25th-29th of October,2017. Following collections of stories by authors under 39 published during Hay Festivals in Mexico City, Bogotá, Beirut, and Port Harcourt, the Aarhus 39 selection of authors was revealed at the London Book Fair and includes stories by emerging new writers and leading illustrators such as Barroux, Kitty Crowther, Tony Ross and Satoshi Kitamura, to be published in May by Alma Books in English, and in Danish by Gyldenhal.

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Called Quest: Stories from around Europe (for children 8+) and Odyssey: Stories from around Europe (for YA), the writers were given the brief that their stories had to be about a journey. The editor of the collections, Daniel Hahn, said, referring to the Brexit referendum vote that took place the same day, “We had our judging meeting on the 23rd of June last year. It feels slightly odd to be talking about these two events together, but now it feels like what we did was quite defiant…part of what we are celebrating is an anti-nationalist thing…”

Cristina Fuentes La Roche, International Director of the Hay Festival said, “Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Perrault, JK Rowling, Judith Kerr…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. Aarhus 39 is the next step in this journey—these emerging writers showcase the strength of children’s and YA literature today…”

Whetting readers’ appetites, excerpts from stories in the anthologies were read aloud at the London Book Fair by several authors and a translator and included a fairy tale about a coat that flies and birds that talk, and an adventure story about a librarian responsible for the children’s section who arrives at work one morning to find that all the books in children’s section have disappeared. She embarks on a quest to find the missing books...

Journalist, globe trotter and food lover


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