Recap: All Day YA (Sydney Writers’ Festival) 2018

May 8, 2018 by Jenna | Event Recaps, Features

This past weekend, I went to Sydney Writers’ Festival’s All Day YA event. Patrick Ness was the headlining guest of this year’s All Day YA and it was just an amazing day overall. I attended four panels (didn’t manage to attend the fifth one that I bought tickets for but more about that later) and picked up a whole bunch of great books on the day.

The first panel that I went to was From the Sidelines, which was all about diversity and real characters. The panelists were Sarah Ayoub, Tamar Chnorhokian and Patrick Ness, in conversation with Rameen Hayat, who was absolutely wonderful as a moderator! They discussed a range of issues and it was great to hear about their experiences growing up as readers that couldn’t see themselves in books at all. After the panel, I picked up copies of Hate is Such a Strong Word and The Yearbook Committee, both by Sarah Ayoub, and had them signed for one lucky winner who will receive both of them! Enter here by following me on Twitter and retweeting.

I then went into the Writing for YA Books and Film session with Jesse Andrews, Patrick Ness and Will Kostakis. There were lots and lots of laughs and Jesse also died from a ‘spider bat’, also known as a cricket. They discussed their book to movie adaptations and how much input they had in those films. They also discussed adapting other people’s work (if you didn’t know, Jesse Andrews wrote the screenplay for David Levithan’s Every Day) and whether they preferred writing screenplays for their own work or for another author. The panel was full of laughs until someone dropped an extra spoilery question in the audience Q&A. Like no joke, they asked about the ending of the trilogy.

At the conclusion of the panel, I spent almost two hours in line for Patrick Ness’s signing. I stood in line throughout the one hour lunch break and then through pretty much the entire The Personal is Political panel (sorry Kirsty Eagar!) This was actually one of two panels that I really wanted to attend and I’m really upset that I missed it because I heard that the conversation was amazing.

Bringing Imaginary Worlds to Life was next and I have to say that it’s my favourite All Day YA panel that I’ve ever attended. It had such a stellar panel of author-illustrators: Chris Riddell, Shaun Tan, Levi Pinfold and Nicki Greenberg. We got to see their artistic processes and beautiful spreads from their published and upcoming works. Chris Riddell gave us a live drawing presentation, which was just absolutely marvelous to watch. At the end of the panel, I got my books signed by Chris, Shaun and Levi. They were so lovely and I had a really wonderful conversation with Levi Pinfold about Black Dog and the metaphor, since I’d previously worked at the Black Dog Institute for 1.5 years.

I then ended up at TeenCon 2018 (15 minutes late because Shaun Tan’s line was really long). The publicists were already halfway through talking about the recent releases they were most excited about so I’m going to skip ahead to the upcoming releases from each publishing house that they were most excited about.

  • Imposters by Scott Westerfeld (Allen & Unwin)
  • All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor (Bloomsbury)
  • Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds by Jeremy Lachlan (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen)
  • The Darkest Legacy by Alexandra Bracken (HarperCollins)
  • Hive by A.J. Betts (Pan Macmillan)
  • Found by Fleur Ferris (Penguin Random House)
  • Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Rift by Rachel Craw (Walker Books)

Out of all of these books, I am definitely most excited for Queen of Air and Darkness since I’m a pretty big fan of the Shadowhunter chronicles. I especially love The Infernal Devices. I’m also really excited for Hive because the synopsis sounds reaaaaaaally good. And of course, Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds sounds like a bunch of fun and adventure.

I really, really enjoyed All Day YA this year. There was such a great range of panels and the panelists were all wonderful. The nine youth curators did a magnificent job and I absolutely cannot wait for next year’s All Day YA!

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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10 responses to “Recap: All Day YA (Sydney Writers’ Festival) 2018

  1. You’re making it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart.
    I can’t wait to learn much more from you. This is actually a terrific website.

  2. Whoa, that’s a hefty line up for Patrick Ness but so glad you were able to brave all the fans to have your books signed, he’s such a prolific author. It’s shame you had to miss Kirsty Eagar’s panel, maybe that’s something organisers need to take into account when they have signings for big international authors and having panels so close together. It would be amazing to see more YA festivals outside of Melbourne and Sydney though so teens from all around the country can attend as well. It sounds like a brilliant day Jenna, thank you so much for sharing! ♥♥
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  3. Woah, it always sounds hectic at these events, but i’m glad you got your Patrick Ness books signed! Sarah Ayoub is so lovely, I adored the Yearbook Committee. Thanks for the recap on books to pick up from Teencon too!

  4. A wonderful conference! And once you’ve taken the kids, there are two full days for the grownups. That part is quite expensive, but they feed you well! The kids’ day is not at all expensive, which is why I could take my poverty-stricken kids, and good value too – about $14 for about threeor four sessions. If kids couldn’t afford that, it was no big deal for me to pay out of my own pocket. Last time we went, the lovel6 Will Kostakis came over to say hi to me and I got to introduce him to young Nicholas, who is a huge fan of his.

    • You should definitely come for next year’s All Day YA! Amie and Jay make really often appearances at bookish events around Australia so there’s a high chance that you’ll see at least one of them!

  5. Sounds like a wonderful day! The Melbourne Writers Festival has a Schools Day, where I’ve taken my students over the years, but you have to buy single sessions and in our cas, by the time we’d gone to our panel, it was lunchtime and we had to eat and get on the train back to school. And it’s for kids and teachers, not just anyone who wants to arr nd. The closest we have to what you describe is Eeadjng Matters, every two years.

    • I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about Reading Matters! It does seem similar to All Day YA. I love that Sydney and Melbourne Writers Festivals have so many school events (I think SWF has a full week of school events that I always wish I could attend!). It’s such a great opportunity for students to be inspired!

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