Will Kostakis has three award-winning YA books to his name, the latest of which is The Sidekicks. We're so excited to have Will hosting this year's TeenCon at All Day YA in Riverside Theatres, so ahead of the Festival, we asked him to lay out exactly what he's looking forward to seeing during the week.

As is the case with every Sydney Writers Festival, this year, I want to put my life on hold for an entire week and attend as many events as humanly possible. Old favourites return, and new discoveries are here to be made. These are some of the events that have caught my eye:

Tracey Spicer: The Good Girl Stripped Bare
Growing up, news anchor Tracey Spicer was a household name, but I don’t think I became a card-carrying member of the Tracey Fan Club until her TEDx talk. Since then, her ‘femoir’ The Good Girl Stripped Bare has been at the top of my anticipated reads list. 

C.S. Pacat: Writing Fantasy
Last year, I was fortunate enough to go on a writing retreat with C.S. Pacat, and as if writing near the author of the Captive Prince trilogy wasn’t inspiring enough, I sometimes got to pick her brain. Her understanding of craft is remarkable, and the care with which she creates her fantasy worlds is second-to-none. If you’re keen to write page-turning, immersive fantasy stories, then don’t look past this rare opportunity to learn from a master.

Lawrence Krauss: On Hidden Realities
One of the alluring things about writers festivals is the opportunity to broaden our horizons. Theoretical physicist Laurence M. Krauss’s latest book, The Greatest Story Ever Told … So Far, is the history of how humanity reached its current understanding of the universe. It’s perfect for those who are fascinated by and curious to learn the secrets of the cosmos.

All Day YA

For me, the most exciting part of the 2017 program is the full day of young adult programming. YA fans of all ages will converge on Riverside Theatres, Parramatta for a day of games, food trucks and sessions featuring a colossal line-up of international and local YA superstars. Tickets are $15 per event, but you can buy a five-event pass for $50.

Talking Tough Topics with Jennifer Niven
So many authors have revealed that the secret to their success is writing what they know. Bestselling author and Emmy Award-winner Jennifer Niven will reflect on doing just that, no matter how hard it might be. Her recent novels All The Bright Places and Holding Up The Universe are international sensations, and this is a rare chance to understand one of the world’s most prolific writers. 

TeenCon 2017
Okay, flagging my bias straight away: I’m hosting TeenCon this year, but it is going to be an absolute blast. There’ll be book giveaways, and exclusive first looks at publishers’ new and upcoming releases. If the last few years are anything to go by, there’ll be plenty of authors in the audience too. It’s a must-attend.

— Will Kostakis, host of TeenCon