Our Secondary School Days program is designed to inspire and challenge students through thoughtful discussion of literature and ideas. This year, an outstanding line-up of brilliant and renowned authors join the program: Sarah Ayoub, Amie Kaufman, Kay Kerr and Jared Thomas, with Tobias Madden.
Dr Sarah Ayoub
Sarah Ayoub is a journalist, author and academic based in Sydney. She teaches journalism and writing at the University of Sydney and University of Notre Dame, and her work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, The Australian, ELLE, Marie Claire and more. Sarah completed a PhD examining interventionist intersectional narratives in Australian YA, which inspired her forthcoming novel, The Cult of Romance, set in Western Sydney and Lebanon. Her debut picture book, The Love That Grew, is out in 2022.
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. Her award-winning work has been translated into nearly 30 languages and several of her series are in development for film and TV. Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution, and is undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing. She is the host of the podcast Amie Kaufman on Writing. Amie lives by the sea in Melbourne with her family and an extremely large personal library.
From the Sunshine Coast, Kay Kerr is a former journalist and community newspaper editor, and is now a freelance writer. Kay was writing her first novel, Please Don’t Hug Me, when she received her autism diagnosis. Please Don’t Hug Me was shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards’ Book of the Year for Older Children and was a 2021 CBCA Notable Book for Older Readers. Social Queue is her second YA novel.
Originally from Ballarat, Tobias worked for 10 years as a dancer, performing in musicals such as Mary Poppins, CATS, Singin’ in the Rain and Guys and Dolls. In 2019, Tobias edited and published Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories, which featured his first published work, ‘Variation’. Tobias is a passionate member of the #LoveOzYA and LGBTQ+ communities, and currently works full time for a major independent publishing company. He now lives in Sydney with his husband, Daniel, and their cavoodle, Ollie.
Dr Jared Thomas
Dr Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges, and the South Australian Museum and University of South Australia Research Fellow, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Material Culture and Art. His novel Calypso Summer joined the 2015 International Youth Library White Raven list. His recent releases include Songs That Sound Like Blood, and the Game Day series, which was written with NBA player and Olympian Patty Mills. His new novel, The Shape of My Heart, will be released in April, 2022.