Secondary School Days 2022

Bookings are now closed for Secondary School Days 2022. 

Learn from Australia’s most exciting literary talents 

Our Secondary School Days program is designed to inspire and challenge students through thoughtful discussion of literature and ideas over four 45-minute sessions. 

This year, we're excited to feature one new special venue (Sydney Town Hall) that we hope will make joining us on the day simple for you and your students. 

We have an outstanding line-up of brilliant and renowned authors planned. Sarah Ayoub, Amie Kaufman, Kay Kerr and Jared Thomas will share insights into their writing processes, invite students to consider new perspectives, and encourage them in their own creative pursuits, in a day led by Tobias MaddenLearn more about these award-winning and bestselling authors. 

The Secondary School Days program is programmed with students in Years 7 to 10 in mind but is suitable for all high-school students.

You can discover more about the exciting program below, download our brochure or access this one-page, quick-read version. 


9.30am Arrive at venue

10am Morning sessions

11.30am Lunch break

12.30pm Afternoon sessions

2pm Finish 

Tickets and Booking

Tickets are $25 per student (there is one free teacher ticket per 20 paying students) and $25 per additional teacher.

Tickets to Sydney Town Hall are free for secondary schools with an ICSEA value of under 1000. You can check your school's ICSEA value at the My School website. Free tickets are limited so we recommend booking early.

Please book using our online form

The program 

Sarah Ayoub: Empathy Starts With Me

A love letter to Western Sydney and Lebanon, Sarah Ayoub’s brilliant new novel, The Cult of Romance, explores how it feels to live between cultures as a young person, navigating friendships, families and conflicting intergenerational ideals. With insights gained from her PhD, Sarah invites students to investigate the link between literature and empathy, and the role stories play in transforming a group of individuals into a community. By the end of the session, students will be emboldened to create narratives that are grounded in the struggles, joys and landscapes of their own lives.

Amie Kaufman: Seeing Story 

New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author Amie Kaufman gives a mind-expanding masterclass on building worlds in unfamiliar times and places. Drawing on her extensive experience writing award-winning science fiction and fantasy, including titles such as Illuminae, The Other Side Of The Sky and Aurora Rising, Amie demonstrates how by keeping a writerly eye on the world around you, the smallest observed details can bloom into the most extraordinary tales. Students will leave with a new way of looking at the world around them – ready to spot all its magical potential.

Kay Kerr: Reading the Signs 

Kay Kerr quickly made her mark on the Australian YA world with Please Don’t Hug Me, her funny and heartwarming debut novel exploring friendship and grief through the eyes of Erin, a young autistic woman. In her latest novel, Social Queue, Kay turns her attention to missed connections and missed signals with autistic protagonist Zoe, who must navigate a path to love while forging her dream writing career. Join Kay for a fascinating discussion with Tobias Madden on the importance of writing disability into YA, the power of ‘bright side’ stories and how a little optimism can go a long way.

Jared Thomas: The Heart of the Matter 

Whether he’s writing about the joys of basketball or the complexities of life in a regional community, Jared Thomas is passionate about exploring the stories and aspirations of young Aboriginal people. An award-winning author and Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges, Jared’s YA novels Calypso Summer, Songs That Sound Like Blood and the upcoming My Spare Heart speak to the many young people finding strength and courage in the face of discrimination and oppression. In this session, Jared shares how stories like his can offer a roadmap to figuring your way through life and reaching your potential.


For more information about Secondary School Days, please contact us:

(02) 9256 4200