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Sunday, May 24 2015 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM Free, no bookings
Sydney Dance 2, Pier 4/5, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay
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There are no vampires, zombies, mash-ups, dystopias or fantasy in this session for lovers of realistic young adult fiction – just real characters with real issues in really good stories. When life gets tough there can be no better place to seek solace than between the pages of a book, especially one that reflects your reality. Acclaimed YA authors Laurie Halse Anderson, Melina Marchetta, Barry Jonsberg and Erin Gough talk to Davina Bell about writing books that resonate with real teens facing real-world issues.

Laurie Halse Anderson (International)

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of several critically acclaimed books for young adults including The Impossible Knife of Memory, Wintergirls, and the New York Times bestselling novel Speak. Known for tackling tough subjects with humour and sensitivity, Laurie’s work has earned numerous awards including the prestigious Assembly for Literature on Adolescents ALAN Award in 2008, and the 2009 Margaret A. Edwards Award from the American Library Association for her “significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature”. Chains, her historical fiction novel set during the American Revolutionary War, was shortlisted for the 2010 Carnegie Medal. Laurie Halse Anderson lives in northern New York State with her husband.

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Melina Marchetta (Australian)

Melina Marchetta is one of Australia's most critically acclaimed writers for young adults. Her books have been published in over twenty countries and in eighteen languages. In 2009 Melina won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for her novel, On the Jellicoe Road. The Piper's Son, the follow up to her award-winning book Saving Francesca, was long-listed for the 2010 Miles Franklin Award. Finnikin of the Rock, the first book in Melina’s popular Lumatere Chronicles series was published in 2008, followed by Froi of the Exiles in 2011 and the third book, Quintana of Charyn, in 2012. 2012 also marked the twenty-year anniversary of Marchetta's first novel Looking for Alibrandi, now a much-loved Australian classic.

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Erin Gough (Australian)

Erin Gough is a Sydney-based writer whose award-winning short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies including Black Inc.'s Best Australian Stories, Southerly and Going Down Swinging. Her first novel, The Flywheel, published in 2015, was the winner of Hardie Grant Egmont's Ampersand Project.

Barry Jonsberg (Australian)

Barry Jonsberg is a writer of books for children and young adults. His young adult novel, It's Not All About YOU, Calma! won the Adelaide Festival Award for Children's Literature, and his other books, Dreamrider, The Whole Business with Kiffo and the Pitbull, and Cassie have been shortlisted for several literary awards. Being Here won the QLD Premier's Young Adult Book Award 2011 and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Award 2012. My Life as an Alphabet won the 2013 Gold Inky, the Children's Peace Literature Award, the Territory Read Award, the KROC Award, and the 2014 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. Barry lives in Darwin with his wife, children and two dogs. His most recent book is The City of Second Chances.

Davina Bell (Australian)

Davina Bell is a book editor and writer for young people. For six years she was a Senior Editor at Penguin Books Australia in the Young Readers division. She now writes full-time on the edge of a vineyard in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. Davina is the author of the Alice books in the best-selling Our Australian Girl series of historical fiction for middle readers. Her first picture book, The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, was published in March 2015. 

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