YA Rising

Moderator: Shannon Ozirny

Event Number: 66

Free (Pay What You Can)
Thanks to the support of the Y.P. Heung Foundation, Government of British Columbia and Raincoast Books.

YA Rising

Saturday, Oct 26
2:00pm - 3:30pm

(formerly Studio 1398)
3rd Floor, Festival House
1398 Cartwright Street

Tickets will be available at the door on a first-come first-serve basis. Arrive early!
All advance reservations have been booked.

Full of immersive, emotional trials, young adult novels are beloved by readers of all ages for tackling issues of identity and belonging with spirit and passion. Three of YA’s most exciting voices are from our own province: Nafiza Azad (The Candle and the Flame), Sabina Khan (The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali) and Governor General’s Award winner Kit Pearson (Be My Love). In this enchanting afternoon event, these cherished writers share their newest works, the inspiration behind them, their own insights on why YA transcends boundaries to captivate diverse audiences and where the genre will go next. Together, they demonstrate the undeniable power this genre has to change hearts and empower readers.

About the moderator:
Shannon Ozirny (@shannonozirny) is the Head of Youth Services at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. She has reviewed books for young people in The Globe and Mail and Quill & Quire and worked as adjunct faculty at UBC, teaching a graduate course in Children’s Literature. She will occasionally read a book for adults, but it takes some convincing.

Event Participants:

Nafiza Azad

British Columbia

Nafiza Azad is a self-identified island girl. She has hurricanes in her blood and dreams of a time she can exist solely on mangoes and pineapple. Born in Lautoka, Fiji, she currently resides in BC, Canada where she reads too many books, watches too many Kdramas and writes stories about girls taking over the world. Her debut YA fantasy, The Candle and the Flame, was released by Scholastic in 2019.


Sabina Khan

British Columbia

Sabina Khan is the author of The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali, a YA Contemporary, out now from Scholastic. She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast. After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and three daughters, one of whom is a fur baby.


Kit Pearson

British Columbia

Kit Pearson has written twelve middle-grade novels for children. Her newest, Be My Love, is about a young teen in 1951 falling in love with another girl. She has won many awards for her work, including the Governor-General’s Award for Awake and Dreaming and the B.C. Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence. She was recently appointed a member of the Order of Canada. She lives in Victoria with her partner, Katherine Farris.