International Children's Literature Hay Festival

This year to celebrate the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017, Hay Festival is going to Denmark. The inaugural International Children's Literature Hay Festival (26 - 29 October) will be a pan-European celebration of writing for young people. With venues across the city, festival events will be accessible to all and will include a range of ‘in conversation’ events, debates and creative workshops featuring acclaimed children's and YA stars from around the world.

Aarhus advert with book covers

Full programme is announced 7 August and tickets launch in September.


A selection of the best children’s and YA writers from all over Europe, aged 40 and under, the Aarhus39 were chosen by Kim Fupz Aakeson (Denmark), Matt Haig (UK) and Ana Cristina Herreros (Spain). These astonishing writers for young people feature in two special anthologies and will join us at our festival in Aarhus.

Meet the Aarhus 39 here.


We asked each of the Aarhus 39 to write an original story on the theme of “journey”.

These new stories, together with the specially commissioned illustrations that accompany them, are a celebration of great new writing for young people and reflect issues facing them in contemporary Europe.

Edited by Daniel Hahn, Quest (9-11) and Odyssey (YA) encourage readers to experience lives lived in other countries and broaden their horizons. These two books are a rare example of literature in translation for young people.

To buy copies of the Aarhus 39 Anthologies Quest and Odyssey please visit your local bookshop or visit Alma Books. Enter the code ‘HAYFRIENDS30’ at the checkout to receive exclusive discount.

Download our teaching resources here:

Odyssey classroom resource

Quest classroom resource

Imagine a Journey - Illustration Competition

We're offering YOU the chance to win a trip to the International Children's Literature Hay Festival in Aarhus, Denmark. Click here for details.