Last weekend I flew down to Sydney to be reunited with Jenna and amazing blogger friends! I had the pleasure of moderating the Writing Herstory: Today’s female experience in contemporary YA panel with five amazing Aussie YA authors – Gabrielle Tozer, Sarah Ayoub, Tamar Chnorkian, Kirsty Eagar and Erin Gough.
It’s the first time I have moderated a panel before (I’ve been a part of one, but this was new) especially with so many favourite authors as a part of it so it was a nerve wracking and fun experience. More than 60+ YA lovers turned up and it was awesome seeing so many familiar faces there!
Aussie YA really leads the way when it comes to diverse experiences, and in the panel, we discussed all the serious topics when it came to writing relatable experiences for young adults. The authors spoke about their motivations behind writing about bullying, body image, the impact of social media, multi-culturalism, feminism, sex positivity and shaming, lesbian/LGBTQIA representation and starting a career as a teenager. Each of the authors were extremely passionate about diversity and the issues that they write about. They definitely incorporated their own experiences into their books and tried to write relatable stories about females for their audience. For example, Gabrielle Tozer’s books, The Intern and Faking It are about a high schooler from a small country town who moves to busy Melbourne to kick start her career, something that Gabby herself experienced when she moved from Wagga Wagga to Sydney. Tamar’s book, The Diet Starts on Monday, gives a voice to kids from different cultures living in Western Sydney. Erin’s novel, The Flywheel, explores sexuality, which was something that she mentioned struggling with when she was younger. It was such an honour to be a part of such an incredible, inspirational panel of Aussie YA authors!
Here are some photos from the panel session!
Tamar, Jeann, Sarah, Erin, Gabrielle & Kirsty
The panel begins! Photo courtesy of @KinokuniyaAust
Kirsty (Summer Skin), Gabrielle (The Intern, Faking It), Sarah (Hate is Such a Strong Word, The Yearbook Committee), Tamar (The Diet Starts on Monday), Erin (The Flywheel) & Jeann
Blogger group at Kino – Jeann, Jenna, Joy, Cassie, Annie & co-blogger!
Signed books from the authors and a bookmark from Jenna!
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I was trying to follow the event on Twitter and it sounded absolutely magnificent. I think the premise of telling HER story is such an important one for young women to feel as though they're represented in fiction too. As a teen, I feel as though I could have learnt and taken comfort in fictional experiences and having that camaraderie (even with a fictional character) can really make a difference. Brilliant job hosting Jeann, I honestly would have shit bricks just sitting in the same vicinity as Kirsty Eagar, then possibly tried to lick her face.
She should really consider a restraining order against me.
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Thank you so much Kelly, Sarah came up with the brilliant premise and it was so important discussing all these hard hitting topics! It was definitely awesome catching up with Kirsty.
I'm so glad you had so much fun Jeann! It looks absolutely amazing and I wish I could've been there. 😛 Also, I can't believe there's a place called Wagga Wagga :'D Pretty cool name.
Thanks Aila! I wish you could be there too! Hahah yes we have some interesting named places in Aus.
AWWW I wait for the day that I would be able to do something like this! <3 It looks like you had suchhhhh a good time! I'm totally jealousing right now!
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It was an amazing time Keionda! Was so lucky to get invited to be a part of the panel.
You attend such great events! Though, i must admit this must've been exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time since you've had to moderate the panel as well. But I'm sure you did wonderful.
Thanks for sharing, Jeann.
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Thank you Joy, it was definitely nerve-wracking with so many authors and a large crowd, but I had a great time!