The Manchester Children’s Book Festival were delighted to host authors Juno Dawson and Lisa Williamson for a very special LGBT History Month event to talk about their writing and the importance of diversity in modern culture.
The event held at Manchester Metropolitan University and organised by Silverwood Events, welcomed Juno and Lisa to introduce their books as a starting point to talk about the issues such as gender identity, sexual identity and mental health.
Taking the format of a question and answer session, the Young Adult authors discussed their lives, their work, and their relation to it. Juno, author of eight books, discussed her titles including Mind Your Head, Being a Boy, This Book is Gay and All of the Above. Her work, spanning a wealth of topics both fiction and non-fiction, discuss mental health, death, sexuality, popularity. Juno’s career is also very varied in genre – she has written everything from contemporary romance to mystery novels and dark thrillers.
Lisa Williamson discussed her equally interesting, although considerably different, career. After making a name for herself as an actor under the name Lisa Cassidy (Lisa Williamson having already been taken), she went on to work as an administrator at the Gender Identity Development Service, and then, in 2015, she released bestselling debut: The Art of Being Normal.
Juno and Lisa opened the floor to the audience of young adult community groups, writers, teachers and librarians who asked a wealth of questions. One audience member asked, “Is journalism a good platform for discussing LGBT issues?” to which Juno, also a columnist at Glamour magazine, answered, “It’s great to have your voice heard in the community.” She added, “But it needs to be heard outside of the community. I still think there’s a place for print media.”
At the end of the event, Juno and Lisa invited to ask the authors further questions, have their books signed and have photographs with Lisa and Juno.
The event was incredibly interesting, with both authors making insightful comments about LGBT history, and the LGBT community’s place in the modern world.
Check out the MCBF website for upcoming events: www.mcbf.org.uk/