Aarhus 39

European Children's Literature Hay Festival will bring Europe’s greatest children’s writers to Aarhus, European Capital of Culture in 2017

Aarhus 39 is a selection of the best children’s and YA writers from all over Europe, aged 40 and under, who will take part in an ambitious new Hay Festival project comprising a new festival and two new anthologies for the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017.

Writers were selected in 2017 by a jury of three acclaimed contemporary children’s authors – Kim Fupz Aakeson (Denmark), Ana Cristina Herreros (Spain) and Matt Haig (UK) – with eligibility encompassing authors of books for ages 8+ and teenagers.


Kim Fupz AakesonKim Fupz Aakeson, from Copenhagen, Denmark, is best known for his quirky, honest and glorious picture-books for children. He is also a novelist and illustrator for comics, contributes to professional journals and newspapers, and writes for radio, theatre and film. He has published more than 80 books for children and young adults, winning numerous awards. His titles include the Vitello series, In Order of Disappearance, A Caretaker's Tale and Perfect Sense.

Ana Cristina HerrerosAna Cristina Herreros was born in León, north-west Spain, where she remembers her grandmother telling stories. An academic, author and editor, she is an expert in the oral tradition and folkloric sources. In 1992 she began professional story-telling in theatres, libraries, schools, hospitals, prisons and public parks. Her books, published in Catalan and English, include Popular Tales of the Mediterranean, The Book of Spanish Witches, Magical Geography and Popular Tales of Mother Death.

Matt HaigMatt Haig is a journalist and author living in Yorkshire whose novels have been translated into 29 languages. Children’s books include Shadow Forest, The Runaway Troll and To Be a Cat. His first book, The Last Family in England, retells Shakespeare’s Henry IV Part 1 with the protagonists as dogs, and is to be filmed by Brad Pitt’s production company. Other titles are The Dead Fathers Club and The Possession of Mr Cave.

The 39 chosen writers will be invited to spend five days in Aarhus visiting schools and taking part in a city- and region-wide weekend festival towards the end of Aarhus’ Capital of Culture year. 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.