What’s the deal with diversity? It’s a hot topic in YA literature, but why is it important? Journalist and author Sarah Ayoub is joined by writers Randa Abdel-Fattah, Erin Gough and Will Kostakis to discuss why portrayals of Australian teenagers in books should be real rather than random. How can writers use more than just culture to create characters we can relate to? Find out what roles family, class, gender and sexuality can play in the books we read.

Supported by the City of Parramatta.


$15 single session tickets: To purchase a single session ticket, click the yellow Book Tickets button on this event page.

$50 five-event pass: To book an All Day YA five-event pass, please follow these steps:

  1. Browse the All Day YA program and choose five sessions you’d like to attend
  2. Register for a Riverside Theatres account here
  3. Once you've created an account, you can select your five events and finalise your purchase here

Randa Abdel-Fattah (Australian)

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Randa is the multi-award winning author of 11 books whose Young Adult and children’s works are published in over fifteen countries. Her debut novel Does My Head Look Big In This is currently being adapted as a feature film and her books have been adapted to the stage. Randa is also a postdoctoral research fellow at Macquarie University where she is undertaking a project comparing the generational impact of the war on terror on Muslim and non-Muslim youth born into a post 9/11 world.

Will Kostakis (Australian)

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Will Kostakis is an award-winning author, but his real claims to fame are a Twitter spat with Guy Sebastian, and ‘that time’ a member of Destiny's Child said his name. He writes novels for young adults and the adults who like reading about them and is best known for Gold Inky Award-winning The First Third and The Sidekicks. His short story, I Can See The Ending featured in Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology. In 2018 Will has been a Mentor for the Youth Curators as part of the All Day YA Program.

Sarah Ayoub (Australian)

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Sarah Ayoub is a freelance journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Guardian, The Sun-Herald, and the Sunday Telegraph. Sarah teaches journalism at The University of Notre Dame in Sydney, where she is currently researching the representations of culturally diverse female teens in Australian Young Adult literature. She is the author of Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee and is passionate about empowering young people to see the value in their own personal stories. In 2018 Sarah has been a Mentor for the Youth Curators as part of the 2018 All Day YA Program.