In a session dedicated to the craft of genre writing, two experts join ABC Radio’s Rhianna Patrick to uncover what it really takes to deliver a tightly plotted narrative. Sarah Epstein (Deep Water) and Astrid Scholte (The Vanishing Deep) have made an art form out of testing their characters’ limits and finding new ways to torment both them and their readers. Find out how the tropes and narrative devices familiar to lovers of fantasy, science fiction and thrillers allow these writers to carve out inventive and thrilling plots of their own.

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Unfortunately, Leigh Bardugo is no longer able to attend the Sydney Writers' Festival. 

Astrid Scholte (Australian)

Astrid Scholte

Raised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid Scholte knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. and has since spent a decade working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights have included working on James Cameron's Avatar and Steven Spielberg's The Adventures of Tin Tin. She’s the author of the internationally best selling YA fantasy, Four Dead Queens, the The Vanishing Deep was released in March, 2020 with Allen & Unwin.

Sarah Epstein (Australian)

Sarah Epstein

Sarah Epstein is an award-winning author, illustrator and designer who grew up in suburban Sydney and now lives in Melbourne. Her debut novel Small Spaces is a CBCA Honour Book, winner of the Davitt Award for Best YA Crime Novel, and was shortlisted for another seven awards including the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature and the Australian Book Industry Awards. Her suspenseful new YA crime novel Deep Water will be published in April, 2020.

Rhianna Patrick (Australian)

Rhianna Patrick

Rhianna Patrick is Torres Strait Islander broadcaster, facilitator and media professional. She’s worked across Indigenous media, communications, radio, television documentaries and news. Rhianna is the former Queensland representative of the #LoveOzYA committee and has a monthly segment on her national ABC Radio programme dedicated to Australian young adult fiction. You can find Rhianna on your local ABC Radio station every Sunday night.