If you don’t know what Sydney Writers’ Festival is, it’s this amazing literary festival that happens every year in the heart of Sydney. Recently relocated to Carriageworks, the festival is simply an incredible place to be. They also feature the amazing All Day YA program at Riverside Parramatta.
This will be my second year attending All Day YA, with my first being the initial moment I stepped out of the house and realised there was an entire day dedicated to YA loving bookworms. If there’s one thing I know about Sydney Writers’ Festival is it gets better and better every year.
All taking place at Riverside Parramatta on Saturday 5th of May, the lineup for this year’s All Day YA program is brilliant and here are my top picks!
From the Sidelines (10am – 11am)
This is possibly one of my most anticipated events! This panel will be answering these questions: Is it enough to include diverse voices if their only role is to prop up the hero? Why does the quiet kid always need to be saved by a cool romantic interest? I need to know.
Youth Curator Rameen Hayat will be chatting to Tamar Chnorhokian, Sarah Ayoub, Michael Mohammed Ahmad and Patrick Ness about diversity and tokenism in YA fiction and I cannot wait!
Burn The Book: Real Girls in YA (11:30am – 12:30pm)
This is right up my alley. This panel asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be a ‘real’ girl?
Chatting with Youth Curator Kellie Phan, Alicia Tuckerman, Rebecca Lim, Jenna Guillaume, and Tara Eglington will be exploring about all those experiences we have as young females: from friendships to frenemies to first loves. Breaking stereotypes and kicking ass – that’s what I love about realistic female characters and this panel sounds like a blast!
Architects of New Worlds (1:30pm – 2:30pm)
If that title of this panel doesn’t interest you, we’re gonna have a problem. I adore world building, especially in sci-fi and fantasy. Reading about post-apocoalyptic worlds, catastrophes or tyrannical regimes are aalways so fascinating. This panel sounds perfect for those who want to know what it’s like creating dystopian worlds that ignite the imagination, and forcing us as readers to reflect on our world.
Adele Walsh discovers how real-life concerns have influenced Jesse Andrews, an acclaimed novelist and screenwriter; Cally Black, who writes genre-smashing YA sci-fi; Claire G. Coleman, whose debut novel explores a future Australia that is colonised again; and Jay Kristoff, a bestselling fantasy and sci-fi author.
Bringing Imaginary Worlds to Life (3pm – 4pm)
This is almost like a companion panel to Architects of New Worlds, except we get to hear about MAPS! We all love maps. Right? Illustrators have their time in the spotlight as This panel discusses how they draw a fantasy-world map and show examples of their previous work. Expand your imagination with author and illustrator Chris Riddell, Oscar–winning animator Shaun Tan, award–winning children’s illustrator Nicki Greenberg and A Song of Ice & Fire illustrator Levi Pinfold.
The Future of Writing (4:30pm – 5:30pm)
I’m a writer. Sometimes I think I’m a terrible writer, but the other day I found an old manuscript and literally wanted to toss it out because I realised how much I’ve evolved as a writer. This panel simply speaks to me.
The panel features author Anna Todd, whose success with fan-fiction favourite After has resulted in publishing houses increasingly looking to online self-publishing for new stories with a built-in fan base. The panel will explore digital platforms, author freedom and technology in modern publishing. Three incredible writers – Tonya Alexandra, Alison Croggon and Jay Kristoff – sit down with YA author and Twitter famous Jenna Guillaume to chat about how technology is reshaping writers’ lives and how it has influenced their careers.
I don’t know about you, but I’m gearing up for May 5th. Come down, hang out with fellow bookworms, and have fun. You’ll also see me there so don’t hesitate to say hi!