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.

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Will Kostakis (Australian)

Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis is a writer of all things, from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers. He's best known for his award-winning YA novels, The First Third and The Sidekicks. Monuments is his new fantasy series.

Erin Gough (Australian)

Erin Gough

Erin Gough is a Sydney writer whose award-winning work has been published globally. She is the author of two books for young adults: The Flywheel, which won the Ampersand Prize, and Amelia Westlake, winner of the Readings Young Adult Book Prize and the NSW Premier's Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult Fiction. Erin’s short fiction has been published in many journals and anthologies, including The Griffith Review, Kindred, and Best Australian Stories.

Sarah Ayoub (Australian)

Sarah Ayoub

Sarah Ayoub is a journalist and author. Her writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Sun-Herald, ELLE, Marie-Claire, Sydney Review of Books and more. Sarah teaches writing at The University of Notre Dame in Sydney, where she is completing her PhD on migrant females in Australian Young Adult literature. She is the author of Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee and a contributor to Arab, Australian, Other. Her forthcoming book, The Cult of Romance, is out in 2021.