YA Day

YA Day is back in 2019! We’re thrilled to announce that the event will take place on Saturday 9th February from 10am – 4pm at the Wheeler Centre, in partnership with Writers Victoria. With five epic panels and fifteen incredible authors, it’s going to be an unmissable day.

Book your tickets here.

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From the queen of creeps, Sarah Epstein, the fantastic Fleur Ferris, and Adult and YA author Anna Snoekstra, find out how to give readers nightmares in the best possible way.

IMG_2926 Sarah Epstein is an author, illustrator and designer who grew up in suburban Sydney and now lives in Melbourne with her husband, two sons and a doggo called Luna.

After achieving a design degree and enjoying a 25-year graphic design career, Sarah returned to her first loves of writing and illustrating. Her debut novel Small Spaces, a YA psychological thriller, was shortlisted for The Readings Young Adult Book Prize.


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Fleur Ferris spent sixteen years working in Police and Ambulance Services in Victoria and South Australia before her debut, Risk, was published by Penguin Random House Australia in 2015. Risk was nominated and won numerous awards, was published internationally and became an Australian Top 10 Bestseller. Risk was adapted to stage by a secondary school in Sweden and that adaptation, Risk: the play, is licensed and available to schools and drama clubs. Fleur’s second book, Black, came out in 2016 and quickly became Australia’s number one bestselling YA “new release” of 2016 and was optioned for film. Wreck, Fleur’s third crime thriller for young adults, was released in 2017. Found, another action thriller, will be released in July, 2018. Fleur has recently undertaken studies in screenwriting, is co-writing the screenplay adaptation of Black and is working on her next novel which will be released in July 2019.


IMG_2923Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia to two civil servants. At the age of seventeen, she decided to avoid a full-time job and a steady wage to move to Melbourne and become a writer. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.

After finishing university, Anna wrote for independent films and fringe theatre and directed music videos. During this time, she worked as a cheesemonger, a waitress, a Christmas elf, a nanny, a receptionist, a cinema attendant and a film reviewer.

Anna now writes novels, teaches storytelling at RMIT University and Co-ordinates the Write Club at 100 Story Building. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Filmme Fatales and she is a regular contributor to Lindsay. Her first novel Only Daughter was released in 2016, and is currently in the works to be turned into a feature film with Universal Pictures. Her second, the acclaimed Little Secrets, was released in 2017. Her first novel for Young Adults, the best selling Mercy Point, is out now.

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Hear all the insider tips and tricks on how to get published, from agent Danielle Binks, debut author and Text Prize winner Nina Kenwood, and #LoveOzYA superstar Ellie Marney.

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Danielle Binks is a writer, reviewer, book blogger and Youth Literature Advocate. In 2016 she joined literary agency, Jacinta di Mase Management, as an agent – seeking Australian authors of Young Adult (YA) and Middle Grade (MG) fiction works.

In 2017, she edited and contributed to Begin, End, Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, of new Australian young adult writing – inspired by the #LoveOzYA movement – and released by HarperCollins.

Danielle is a graduate of RMIT’s Professional Writing & Editing program, and holds a Bachelor of Communications from Monash University.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANina Kenwood is a writer based in Melbourne. Nina won the 2018 Text Prize for her young adult novel It Sounded Better In My Head, which will be published in mid-2019.

Nina has worked in the book industry for over ten years, and is currently the marketing manager at Readings bookshop. You can read some of Nina’s reviews and writing for Readings here.

You can also find a list of books Nina has loved recently right here.


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Ellie Marney is a teacher and an author of fiction for Young Adults. Her YA crime trilogy, the Every series, and her YA standalone, White Night, have been critically and commercially successful in Australia and overseas – her debut, Every Breath, was shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award, the Ned Kelly Award and the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award (YA), and in 2015 was named by the Australian Library Information Association as one of the top ten most-borrowed YA books in Australian libraries. In the last two years she has diversified by independently publishing the Every series companion novel, No Limits, as well as a new YA rom-crime series, Circus Hearts. Ellie has been involved in the creation of the national campaign called #LoveOzYA to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature. She contributed to the critically-acclaimed Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, and runs the popular #LoveOzYAbookclub online. She also co-coordinates an online info-sharing group for Australian women self-publishers.

Ellie is a regular speaker at festivals and events, teaches writing and publishing through Writers Victoria, and advocates for Australian women’s writing as a Stella Ambassador in schools. She lives in regional north-central Victoria, with her partner (also a teacher) and their four sons.

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From New York Times bestselling author Amie Kaufman, debut author of Four Dead Queens, Astrid Scholte, and fae queen Jodi McAlister, hear all about the process behind writing science fiction and fantasy.

IMG_2921Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and has been described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). Her series include The Illuminae Files, The Starbound Trilogy, Unearthed and Elementals: Ice Wolves. Her work is in development for film and TV, and has taken home multiple Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, a Gold Inky, made multiple best-of lists and been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.


AstridScholte_marketing_C_URaised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. She’s spent the last 10 years working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron’sAvatar, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tin Tin andHappy Feet 2 by George Miller. She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head. When she’s not writing, she’s painting her favorite fictional characters and obliging her furry overlords, Lilo and Mickey.

FOUR DEAD QUEENS (Putnam, 26th of February 2019 and Allen & Unwin, 4th of March) is her debut novel.


Jodi McAlister001_for PrintJodi is an author and academic from Kiama, a seaside holiday town on the south coast of New South Wales. Her PhD was awarded by Macquarie University in 2015, and she is currently a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction. It means that reading romance novels and watching The Bachelor is technically work for her. 

You can find Jodi on Twitter at @JodiMcA, where she tweets regularly about her research, her writing, cool things she finds interesting, her hero worship of Kate Bush, and her slightly-too-intense passion for The Bold and the Beautiful. She is the author of Valentine, Ironheart and Misrule in the Valentine series.

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Editor of Kindred (a queer #LoveOzYA anthology) Michael Earp, author of Ida and the highly anticipated Highway Bodies, Alison Evans, and debut author of What the Woods KeepKatya de Becerra, answer all the tough questions you’ve been too afraid to ask until now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMichael Earp is a Children’s and Young Adult bookseller and writer. The editor of the collection Kindred: A Queer #LoveOzYA Anthology which will be published by Walker Books Australia in June, 2019.

Michael is repped by Linda Epstein at Emerald City Literary Agency. Michal is also a contributor to Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories which is out in March, 2019 through Black Inc.


IMG_2919Alison is the author of the queer sci fi YA book Ida, a maker of zines and co-editor of Concrete Queers. 

They write stories about weird stuff, magic,  gender and plants.

You can find them on twitter as @_budgie or over on their website, alisonwritesthings.com.


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Katya de Becerra is an author of two Young Adult books with Imprint (Macmillan): What The Woods Keep in which a girl inherits a riddle from her mother’s estate that leads her to a strange Colorado town where her physicist father has been studying strange phenomena, and Oasis, an upcoming YA horror-adventure with a diverse cast set in Dubai.

Find Katya on Twitter @KatyaDeBecerra.

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Learn what it takes to hone your writing skills, with #LoveOzYA legend Will Kostakis, the wonderful author of After the Lights Go Out (and countless more YA novels), Lili Wilkinson, and the author of Nevernight and co-writer of The Illuminae Files, Jay Kristoff.

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Will Kostakis is a writer of all things, from celebrity news stories that score cease and desist letters, to tweets for professional wrestlers.

He’s best known for his award-winning YA novels, The Sidekicks and The First Third. His first fantasy novel series Monuments begins in spring 2019.

You can find him on Twitter @willkostakis or on his website at willkostakis.com.


IMG_2924Lili Wilkinson is the author of ten books, including Scatterheart and Pink. She established insideadog.com.au, the Inky Awards and the Inkys Creative Reading Prize at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria.

Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne, and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.  Her latest novel is After the Lights Go Out.


IMG_2920Jay Kristoff is a #1 international, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy.

His LOTUS WAR trilogy was critically acclaimed in Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, nominated for the David Gemmell Morningstar and Legend awards and won the 2014 Aurealis Award. Jay’s new series, the SciFi thriller THE ILLUMINAE FILES, was co-authored with Amie Kaufman. Book 1, ILLUMINAE, became a New York Times and international bestseller, was named among the Kirkus, Amazon and YALSA Best Books of 2015, became a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and won the 2016 Aurealis Award and an ABIA Book of the Year award. ILLUMINAE is currently slated to be published in thirty five countries, and film rights have been acquired by Brad Pitt and Plan B Entertainment.

Jay’s new fantasy series, THE NEVERNIGHT CHRONICLE, commenced in 2016. The novel was an international bestseller, won the Aurealis award and earned Kristoff his second Gemmell nomination. Part 2, GODSGRAVE, was published in 2017, and won the series its second Aurealis award. A new YA series, LIFEL1K3 has also been acquired by Knopf/Random House Kids, and commences publication in early 2018. A new series with Amie Kaufman, THE ANDROMEDA CYCLE, begins in 2019 with Knopf/Random House Kids. Jay is as surprised about all this as you are. He is represented by Josh Adams at Adams Literary.

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Purchase your tickets through the Writers Victoria website!

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