Student Sessions Livestream 2023

Student Sessions Livestream is presented in partnership with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

Our Student Sessions Livestream event broadcasts the magic of the Sydney Writers’ Festival to schools in New South Wales.

With sessions led by world-renowned writers, Student Sessions is designed to bring the school curriculum to life. Students can build on their classroom learning, extend their capacity for critical thinking, and engage in thoughtful discussion and meaningful debate –all without leaving the classroom.

Recommended for Years 9 to 12.

You can discover more about the program below or via our digital brochure 


For a single booking of $60, tune in to the following sessions as they take place in real time on Wednesday 24 May:

• A Persuasive Point of View 

• (Ye Olde) New Shakespeare

• Why Should We Study This Rubbish? 

Livestreams for individual sessions are not available for purchase.

To register, go to:

For more information or if you have any questions contact or call 02 9256 4200.  



10–10.45am Session 1

11.45am–12.30pm Session 2

1.30–2.15pm Session 3




In a world that is often socially and politically polarised, we are all in need of advanced critical thinking skills and the ability to both listen and effectively communicate our ideas. Two-time world champion debater and former coach of the Australian and Harvard debate teams, Bo Seo, is an expert at formulating and putting forward his point of view. He is the author of Good Arguments, a guide to what the art of debating can teach us about listening better and disagreeing well. Whether arguing through essays, online, or in person, these tips will help improve the clear and concise way we formulate and communicate our ideas. 

Curriculum links: English



2023 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s First Folio. We continue to study his work and mount his plays but is his work still relevant? What is it that keeps us coming back for more? We look at contemporary adaptations and re-interpretations of the Bard’s works and analyse their success in connecting with and drawing new audiences. Laura Murphy is the composer and writer of The Lovers for Bell Shakespeare, a pop musical reimagining of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Joanna Erskine is the Head of Education at Bell Shakespeare. As a playwright, she writes in-school adaptations of Shakespeare’s plays for Bell Shakespeare’s Players and recently premiered a new Australian work, Rosaline, a reimagining of Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of Romeo’s forgotten first love.

Curriculum links: English, Drama



The canon of books we study at school and university includes classics both old and new, but are they all equally compelling? What makes a book or a text interesting and relevant to study in today’s age, from Year 7 to undergraduate levels? Taking into consideration aspects of popular culture and some elements of contemporary literary theory, expert educators Michael Parker and Fiona Morrison discuss the best type of texts for current secondary and tertiary students, offer a few suggestions, and review what makes some texts such rich study material. Michael Parker is Headmaster at Newington College. Fiona Morrison is an Associate Professor in literary studies at UNSW Sydney. Together they have written Masters in Pieces: The English Canon for the Twenty First Century and a forthcoming book on critical thinking.

Curriculum links: English


For more information, please contact us:

(02) 9256 4200