Ready to get real? Bestselling author Jennifer Niven writes what she knows – no matter how hard that might be. Her international bestseller All the Bright Places is about a boy she dated in her 20s, while her latest novel, Holding Up the Universe, was inspired by her struggles with her weight and the experiences of her cousin, who has prosopagnosia (face blindness). Jennifer talks with Victoria Flanagan about transforming real-life struggles into stories and how the act of writing can be liberating.

Supported by the City of Parramatta.

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Jennifer Niven (International)

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Jennifer Niven is the Emmy Award-winning New York Times and International bestselling author of nine books, including All the Bright Places and Holding up the Universe. Her books have been translated in over 75 languages, and between them her two young adult novels have sold in over 60 territories internationally. All the Bright Places has won literary awards around the world, including the GoodReads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fiction of 2015. It was named a Best Book of the Year by Time Magazine, NPR, the Guardian, Publisher's Weekly, YALSA, Barnes & Noble, BuzzFeed, the New York Public Library, and others, and was the #1 Kids' Indie Next Book for Winter '14-'15. The film starring Elle Fanning is currently in pre-production, with Jennifer writing the script. Jennifer is at work on her third novel for young adults, and overseeing Germ, a literary and lifestyle web magazine for girls and boys age high school and beyond.

Victoria Flanagan (Australian)

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Victoria Flanagan is a senior lecturer in children’s literature at Macquarie University in Sydney. She is the author of Into the Closet: Cross-Dressing and the Gendered Body in Children’s Literature and Film and Technology and Identity in Young Adult Fiction: The Posthuman Subject. Her research focuses on representations of gender and subjectivity and she is currently working on a project that examines the role of social media in YA fiction.