Don’t miss poet and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen as he launches The National Conversation – an ambitious two year discussion on the key questions facing literature today – at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Rosen will give a provocation on why books are intrinsic to our survival as human beings, and why, for a nation to thrive, it is essential that literacy and reading are placed at the heart of our society.

Joined by editor and literary critic, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey (Chair) and panellists Denise Mina (Red Road) and Jamie Jauncey (Room 121), they will explore the hard-hitting, controversial and vital questions surrounding our national artform. In the spirit of a national conversation, the panel will take questions from the venue itself and via Twitter.

The National Conversation starts here – book now.

Michael Rosen - photo

Michael Rosen is one of the most popular contemporary poets and authors of books for children. His titles include We’re Going on a Bear Hunt which was the winner of the Smarties Book Prize, Michael Rosen’s Sad Book and Totally Wonderful Miss Plumberry. The presenter of “Word of Mouth” on BBC Radio 4, he received the Eleanor Farjeon Award for services to children’s literature in 1997. He was Children’s Laureate 2007-2009 and is Professor of Children’s Literature, Goldsmiths, University of London.
Michael Rosen on Twitter
Michael Rosen’s website

The writers group - Ellah Wakatama Allfrey and panellists Denise Mina, and Jamie Jauncey

Ellah Wakatama Allfrey is former Deputy Editor of Granta magazine. She worked for five years at Penguin Press before moving to Random House for six years. As Senior Editor, she was responsible for Jonathan Cape’s acclaimed list of African writers as well as editing a wide range of authors including Carmen Callil, Bettany Hughes and Antony Quinn, and commissioning highly praised and award winning writers such as Dinaw Mengestu, Evie Wyld and Laura Fish. Since joining the Board of WCN she has been active in the organisational changes and expansion of the company. A Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Ellah was awarded an OBE in 2011 for services to the publishing industry.

Denise Mina has written twelve novels, three plays, five graphic novels and regularly contributes to television and radio. Her novels have won a six major awards and she has been nominated for thirteen. The BBC/Slate adaptated two of her novels for TV. She wrote Vertigo’s Hellblazer for a year with Leo Manco, a stand alone A Sickness In The Family with Antonio Fuso, again for Vertigo, and is currently adapting Steig Larsson’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy for DC Comics.
Denise Mina on Twitter
Denise Mina’s website

Jamie Jauncey has written novels for adults, young adults and children and has twice been shortlisted for the Scottish Children’s Book of the Year Award. As a co-founder of the Dark Angels programme of Creative Writing in Business courses, he is also one of the editors and contributing writers for the world’s first 15-author collective novel, Keeping Mum. A former chairman of the Society of Authors in Scotland, he is a longstanding member of the board of the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

About the National Conversation
Featuring leading writers and thinkers, and the most prestigious festivals and venues in the UK: the National Conversation is a two year series of events for everyone who loves literature and cares about our literary ecology.