Secondary School Days 2017

Sydney Writers’ Festival School Days program is a fantastic opportunity for students to engage with their favourite authors, discover exciting new voices and be inspired in a fun, educational and interactive way.


10am: We Come Apart

Sarah Crossan tells you how she came to love poetry and why you will learn to love it too! Sarah offers a behind-the-scenes look at the new verse novel she co-authored with Brian Conaghan, We Come Apart, focusing in particular on the themes of refugees and prejudice which characterise the book.

10.45am: Lying for a Living

Gabrielle Williams spends a fair chunk of her working life telling whopping great lies and hoping people will believe her. She takes you on a journey of the greatest lies she and some of her characters have ever told, and helps you harness the power of the imagination in your lies. 

11.30pm: Lunch Break and Book Signings

With Sarah Crossan and Gabrielle Williams

12.30pm: A Few of My Favourite Things

What do running a youth-led organisation, driving really fast and writing a book all have in common? They’re things Yassmin Abdel-Magied likes to do with her time. Hear a little about Yassmin’s story as a brown, Muslim chick who likes to do random things ... and maybe, cheekily, learn a few things along the way.

1.15pm: Making it Personal 

Inspiration for both All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe came from Jennifer Niven’s real life experiences. We hear from Jennifer about transforming the struggles she’s faced into stories and how the act of writing can be liberating.

2pm: Finish and Book Signings

With Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Jennifer Niven


Secondary School Days tickets go on sale on 10 October 2016.

Download the Secondary School Days booking form.

For more information or if you have any questions contact Sydney Writers’ Festival:

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: (02) 9256 4200

Download the Secondary School Days brochure here.

Friday 26 May 10:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, Corner of Church and Market Streets, Parramatta

Abdel-Magied, Jasmine
Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Australia)

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a mechanical engineer, social advocate, writer and 2015 Queensland Young Australian of the Year. She advocates for the empowerment of youth, women and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Born in Sudan, Yassmin and her family arrived in Australia when she was two. At age 16, Yassmin founded Youth Without Borders, an organisation that enables young people to work together to implement positive change within their communities and internationally. She is the author of Yassmin’s Story

Crossan, Sarrah
Sarah Crossan (International)

Sarah Crossan is the award-winning author of the Young Adult verse novel One (winner of the Carnegie Medal, CBI Book of the Year, CLiPPA Poetry Award and YA Book Prize). Her other acclaimed verse novels include We Come Apart (co-authored with Brian Conaghan), Apple and Rain and The Weight of Water. Sarah is Irish and lives in the UK.

Williams, Gabrielle
Gabrielle Williams (Australia)

Gabrielle Williams is the author of Beatle Meets Destiny (shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards) and The Reluctant Hallelujah.

She has been described by The Age reviewer Cameron Woodhead as ‘one of the funniest young adult fiction authors around’. As part of her research for The Guy, the Girl, the Artist and His Ex, Gabrielle interviewed a number of people – some of whom may or may not have been the actual Australian Cultural Terrorists.

Jennifer Niven (International)

Jennifer Niven is the author of two narrative non-fiction books, The Ice Master and Ada Blackjack; a high school memoir, The Aqua Net Diaries; and four historical novels for adults: Velva Jean Learns to Drive (based on her Emmy Award-winning film of the same name), Velva Jean Learns to Fly, Becoming Clementine, and the forthcoming American Blonde. All the Bright Places was her first book for young adults and was published in 2015. Her second YA novel, Holding up the Universe, was published in 2016. Jennifer lives in Los Angeles.



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