With chilling secrets, untrustworthy narrators and suspenseful plotlines, YA thrillers explore the disquieting realities of teenage life. From the obsession with achieving physical perfection and celebrity culture to the terrifying implications of living life through social media, our panel of authors have skilfully tapped into the darker undertones of teenage life to create spine-tingling page-turners that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Join our panel of acclaimed YA authors, Melvin Burgess, Cathy MacPhail and Liz Flanagan, for a gripping venture into the darkest corners of YA thrillers. Chaired by Daniel Hahn, this event promises to disturb, uncover and explore the frightening possible realities of teenage life.

About The Speakers

Melvin Burgess

Melvin Burgess was born in London and brought up in Surrey and Sussex. He has had a variety of jobs before becoming a full-time writer. Before his first novel, he had short stories published and a play broadcast on Radio 4. He is now regarded as one of the best writers in contemporary children’s literature. Winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize.


Liz Flanagan

Liz Flanagan writes for children and young adults. She’s currently studying for a PhD in Creative Writing at Leeds Trinity University. Liz lives in Hebden Bridge with her husband and two daughters. She used to be Centre Director at the Ted Hughes Arvon Centre, and previously worked in children’s book publishing. Eden Summer is her debut novel.

Photo by SarahMasonPhotography.

Cathy MacPhail

The award-winning author of over thirty children’s books Cathy MacPhail has won the Scottish Children’s Book Award twice, whilst Another Me was released in cinemas in 2014. Cathy pens spooky thrillers and challenging teen novels and is acclaimed for her unique ability to write feisty characters, getting to the heart of serious, topical issues.

About The Chair

Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator. He is the author of a number of works of non-fiction, including the history book The Tower Menagerie, and one of the editors of The Ultimate Book Guide, a series of reading guides for children and teenagers, the first volume of which won the Blue Peter Book Award.

Photo by John Lawrence