From summer flings and first crushes to slow-burning romances – these three authors know what it takes to write a nuanced queer love story. Alice Oseman (Heartstopper), Sophie Gonzales (Only Mostly Devastated) and Anna Whateley (Peta Lyre’s Rating Normal) have written warm, funny and occasionally awkward stories of LGBTIQA+ teens figuring life out. They join Erin Gough to discuss queer perspectives on love story clichés and why their depictions of high school life have resonated so strongly with a new generation of readers.

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Alice Oseman (International)

Alice Oseman

Alice Oseman was born in 1994 in Kent. She secured her first publishing deal at 17 and has gone on to write three YA novels, and the graphic novel series Heartstopper. She is now a full-time writer and illustrator and can usually be found staring aimlessly at computer screens, questioning the meaninglessness of existence, or doing anything she can to avoid getting an office job. Volume 3 of Heartstopper was released in February, 2020 with her fourth novel, Loveless following in July.

Sophie Gonzales (Australian)

Sophie Gonzales

Sophie Gonzales writes Young Adult queer romantic comedies with biting wit and endless heart. Her debut YA rom-com, Only Mostly Devastated, icame out March 2020, and her next novel, The Ex-Girlfriend Experiment is scheduled for 2021. She is also the author of The Law of Inertia. When she isn't writing, Sophie can be found ice skating or singing. She lives in Melbourne, Australia where she works as a psychologist.

Anna Whateley (Australian)

Anna Whateley

Anna Whateley is an 'own voices' author, proudly autistic, with ADHD and sensory processing disorder. Her debut novel, Peta Lyre's Rating Normal will be published in May 2020 with her essay contribution inGrowing Up Disabled in Australia published June 2020. Anna lives in Brisbane with her family, two dogs, and two rescue guinea pigs. She has always worked in literature and education, and holds a PhD in young adult fiction.

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.