Feminist author, speaker and activist Laura Bates will be joining award-winning author Patrice Lawrence at the Alton Arts Festival this year, at a special event to discuss the importance of representation in young adult literature.

Bates founded the Everyday Sexism Project website in April 2012, at just 26 years old. Her first book, Everyday Sexism, was published in 2014; she has since gone on to publish seven more books, both fiction and non-fiction.

“Representation in literature means so much more than ticking a box or putting a book in a niche category,” said Laura Bates.

“It is about shared joy, appreciation and ambition, about making space for lost stories and giving words to those whose voices have historically been silenced. It matters for children, their aspirations and identity, and for all of us as a community. 

“I am so hugely excited to discuss all this and much more with the brilliant Patrice Lawrence at Alton Arts Festival.”

Laura Bates and Patrice Lawrence will be discussing the importance of representation in YA fiction, and why young adults in particular need diverse books on July 8. The event – an informal discussion between the authors, an audience Q&A, and a book signing – is sure to be very popular.

“Laura’s Fix the System event in Goldfinch last summer (pictured above) was phenomenal, and sold out within three days,” said Gary Clark, literary programme lead for the festival and co-owner of Goldfinch Books.

“We can’t wait to see what she and Patrice bring to this discussion. They’re both passionate speakers and incredibly knowledgeable, so we know they’ll bring a lot of dynamism to this important topic, which will be of interest to audiences of all ages.”

Find out more about this July's Alton Arts Festival at https://www.altonartsfestival.com/