What does it mean to be a ‘real’ girl? Four celebrated YA writers join forces to reflect on writing truthfully about the experiences of teenage girls – from friendships to frenemies to first loves. Don’t miss Alicia Tuckerman, Rebecca Lim, Jenna Guillaume and Tara Eglington in conversation with Youth Curator Kellie Phan. They talk about how to write believable female protagonists without resorting to simplistic stereotypes and how they’ve each portrayed the joys, cruelties and triumphs of the teenage experience in their own work. Programmed with SWF Youth Curators. Supported by the City of Parramatta and the Department of Family and Community Services

Alicia Tuckerman (Australian)

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Alicia Tuckerman is a driving force for young LGBTIQ voices. Alicia attributes surviving her teenage years to the release and escape that writing offered and with her debut release If I Tell You she hopes to inspire the next generation of readers and writers. She draws on her experiences to explore the joys and cruelties of adolescence and considers there is no world she could create more terrifyingly beautiful than the one we’re expected to live in.

Tara Eglington (Australian)

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Tara Eglington grew up in Byron Bay, NSW. Tara is the author of three Young Adult novels: How To Keep A Boy From Kissing You, How To Convince A Boy To Kiss You and My Best Friend is a Goddess. When she’s not writing her hobbies include watching endless cat videos on YouTube, planning pretend holidays to the Maldives, and daydreaming about who would play Hayden Paris in the film adaptation of her work How To Keep A Boy From Kissing You.

Jenna Guillaume (Australian)

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Jenna Guillaume is a journalist and author based in Sydney. She has a two-book deal with Pan Macmillan, with her debut Young Adult novel Maisie coming in 2019. She is also Editor-at-Large for BuzzFeed Australia, where she writes about very important things like pop culture, identity, feminism, social media, and Chris Hemsworth's biceps. Previously she worked in the features department of Girlfriend magazine.

Rebecca Lim (Australian)

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Rebecca Lim is a Melbourne writer, illustrator and lawyer. The author of eighteen books, her work has been shortlisted for the Prime Minister's Literary Award, Aurealis Award and Davitt Award, among others, and has been translated into German, French, Turkish, Portuguese and Polish. She is a co-founder of the Voices from the Intersection initiative. Her latest novel, Harley Spark and the Relic of the Blue Dragon, will be published in August 2018.

Kellie Phan (Australian)

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Kellie Phan is a Melbourne-based high school student from St Albans Secondary College who has an all-consuming love for literature and everything relating to books and writing. She was previously an Inky Award Judge for 2017 and has been a part of the Inside A Dog's You're the Voice Program.