Codename F event reveal – Hayley Barker & Mary Watson: Fighting for the Future

As part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, Book Festival staff have been working with a group of school pupils aged 8-14 from Craigmillar in Edinburgh to co-curate a strand of events exploring the concept of freedom. The name the young people have chosen for their strand is Codename F

The Codename F young programmers have designed 9 events across the Book Festival’s public adult and children’s programmes, and the programme for schools. In a series of posts, the young people (and some of the authors featured) explain the reasoning behind their decisions. 

Hayley Barker & Mary Watson: Fighting for the Future
Wednesday 22 August, 18:30 – 19:30
Baillie Gifford Imagination Lab (Charlotte Square Gardens)
£5.00 – Tickets available here from Tues 26 June

Meet the authors of dark and action-packed novels for young adults which see young heroes fighting for their futures. Hayley Barker’s Show Stealer is a dystopian novel in which children must perform in a deadly circus. In The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson, Wren Silke is caught in a battle between two ancient magics. Tense, dark and thrilling tales both.

The Codename F young programmers were excited by this combination of authors and their books which:

…cover young people issues alongside a dark, compelling theme.

In the books, the central characters struggle to free themselves both literally and figuratively from the ‘cages’ that they’re trapped in. The young people felt these books fitted into their overall theme of Freedom very well:

The children in the books can’t and don’t have the freedom to decide what they want to be.

Author Mary Watson is thrilled to feature in the Codename F strand:

I’m delighted to be part of the exploration of freedom, which is such an important thing to talk about and at the heart of my book. I’m looking forward to the fresh vision and energy that the young planners bring to these events.

Hayley Barker was similarly enthusiastic:

The young adults of today are the future of tomorrow. Literature gives us a way to engage and discuss – to think about what’s important; to think about how we can make a difference.

Come along and share your opinions at the event on 22 August. Tickets cost £5.00 and we recommend booking in advance.

You can find a full list of the Year of Young People: Codename F events here.

You can book tickets for any of the events in the Codename F strand from Tuesday 26 June online, by phone 0345 373 5888 or in person. You can find all of the booking information on the Book Festival website at

About the Year of Young People 2018

In 2018, Scotland puts its young people in the spotlight, celebrating their talents, contributions and creating new opportunities for them to shine. The Year of Young People 2018 is a year-long programme of events and activities that will give young people in Scotland the opportunity to show the world what they are made of.