Fantasy and World-building for Young Adults
Time & Location
About the Event
Authors Nafiza Azad (The Candle and the Flame), Reni K. Amayo (Daughters of Nri), Intisar Khanani (Thorn) and Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me series) discuss the process of world building, and fantasy novels as an exploration of political violence and persecution, as well as the rich traditions, religions and histories we belong to. Chaired by award winning storyteller and actor Alia Alzougbi.
This event will have BSL interpretation. Please contact us with any additional accessibility needs - we are committed to making our events as accessible as possible.
Alia Alzougbi is an artist, educator and cultural producer. Her practice is steeped in storytelling techniques and traditions. Her work looks to subvert dominant narratives by centering global perspectives and indigenous ways of inhabiting the world. She is a BAFTA-nominated artist and Clore fellow.
Reni Kosi Amayo is a British Nigerian author and co-founder of Onwe, an independent publisher and lifestyle brand focused on amplifying diverse voices and under-represented cultures and ideals. She attended Imperial College London, where she earned her MEng in Aeronautical Engineering. Reni was born and raised in London to two Nigerian immigrant parents. She has spent many years studying the intricacies of different African and specifically Nigerian, cultures, mythology & anthropology to unearth a rich history that has been obscured and forgotten across the globe. Reni's debut novel Daughters of Nri is set in ancient Igbo land and follows two twin goddesses who have been separated at birth on their epic journey of self-discovery as they embark on a path back to one another. The book featured in the BBC, Metro and Bustle. Bestselling author, Dorothy Koomson, said that the book “is something special...so much myth, fantasy and genuinely great storytelling,” whilst Buzzfeed noted, “Amayo weaves a world of literary magic.” Her second novel, Descendants of the First, releases in October 2021.
Nafiza Azad is a self-identified island girl. She has hurricanes in her blood and dreams of a time she can exist solely on mangoes and pineapple. Born in Lautoka, Fiji, she currently resides in British Columbia, Canada where she reads too many books, watches too many K-dramas, and writes stories about girls taking over the world. Her debut YA fantasy was the Morris Award–nominated The Candle and the Flame. The Wild Ones is her second novel.
Taherah Mafi is the New York Times bestselling author of the Shatter Me series which has been published in over 30 languages around the world. She was born in a small city somewhere in Connecticut and currently resides in Santa Monica, California, with her husband, Ransom Riggs, fellow bestselling author of Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children. Her latest YA novel, An Emotion of Great Delight, set in the aftermath of the Iraq war, releases on June 10th.
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Intisar used to write grants and develop projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles, Thorn, and The Theft of Sunlight.