Whether it’s fallen societies, environmental catastrophes or tyrannical regimes, fantasy and science fiction allow authors to create dystopian worlds that ignite the imagination and force readers to reflect on our world’s trajectory. Adele Walsh discovers how real-life concerns have influenced Jesse Andrews, an acclaimed novelist and screenwriter; Cally Black, who writes genre-smashing YA sci-fi; Claire G. Coleman, whose debut novel explores a future Australia that is colonised again; and Jay Kristoff, a bestselling fantasy and sci-fi author.

Programmed with SWF Youth Curators. Supported by the City of Parramatta and the Department of Family and Community Services

Jay Kristoff (Australian)

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Jay Kristoff is New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Nevernight Chronicles, The Illuminae Files, The Lotus War and Lifel1k3. He is the winner of four Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, nominee for the Locus award, David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards, named multiple times in the Kirkus and Amazon Best Teen Books list and published in over thirty countries, most of which he has never visited. He is as surprised about all of this as you are. He is 6’7 and has approximately 12,665 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell. He does not believe in happy endings.

Claire G. Coleman (Australian)

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Claire G. Coleman is a Wirlomin Noongar woman whose ancestral country is in the south coast of Western Australia between Esperance and Albany. In 2016 she was awarded a Black&Write Indigenous Writing Fellowship for a manuscript she wrote while travelling around the continent now called Australia in an old troop-carrier and a ragged caravan. Her debut novel is Terra Nullius.

Jesse Andrews (International)

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Jesse Andrews is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Haters. He also wrote the film adaptation Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, which won both the Grand Jury Prize and the Audience Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.


Cally Black (Australian)

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Cally Black won the Ampersand Prize in 2015 and a publishing deal with Hardie Grant Egmont for her first young-adult novel, In The Dark Spaces, a science-fiction thriller published in 2017. It was Highly Commended by the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize earlier this year. Cally also writes books for younger children under the name Bren MacDibble.

Adele Walsh (Australian)

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Adele Walsh joined the State Library of Victoria in 2011 as the Centre for Youth Literature’s Program Coordinator. Her experience as an avid Young Adult literature reader and a passionate youth literature advocate informed her successful Young Adult blog, Persnickety Snark. Adele has a professional background as a teacher and in her role provides content for the Centre for Youth Literature’s website, Inside a Dog, as well as programming events that promote literature to young adults. She is also the co-host of Unladylike, a podcast on women and writing. In 2018 Adele has been a Mentor for the Youth Curators as part of the 2018 All Day YA Program.