Event Recap: Sydney Writer’s Festival – TeenCon & Fantasy!

May 27, 2016 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | Books, Event Recaps, Features

It’s not often I get to visit Sydney and spend time with my fellow bloggers, but when Sydney Writer’s Festival came up with an all day YA event, I knew it was the perfect time.

Only having a weekend there, I knew time was going to be short, especially since I have friends in Sydney to catch up with as well. On Saturday, we shopped and ate the most delicious yumcha. My friend has a fitbit, and we walked for 13 km throughout the whole day! It was a massive day, but it was nothing in preparation for the next.

I woke up early and headed into the CBD and met up with Jenna (Reading with Jenna) and Aentee (Read at Midnight)! Aentee and I met last year in Melbourne, but it was my first time meeting up with my lovely co-blogger. As expected, we all got along like a house on fire especially where Jenna and I bonded with our mutual dislike of ACOMAF and Aentee and I bonded over our love of taking photos, specifically shameless selfies.

blogging teencon 2
Jenna, Aentee, myself and Sarah 
Joy, Jenna, myself, Aentee, Emily, Jaz and Jess
blogging teencon 4
Jess, Jaz, Aentee, Jenna, myself, Emily & Angelya

TeenCon – Cornucopia


After eating a delicious breakfast, we headed into Walsh Bay where the festival was held. Now being from Brisbane, I was actually quite overwhelmed by the massive lines and the crowd of people at the festival!

We lined up for TeenCon and met a whole heap of bloggers, booktubers, authors and publishers who I’d been meaning to meet for a while. Thanks for everyone who came up and said hi! It was so exciting being at an event where I recognised people from their Twitter profile pics.

There were 2 Teencon sessions throughout the day, and we attended the one hosted by Aussie YA author Will Kostakis. It was really entertaining seeing him pit publishers against one another as they pitched their favourite YA heroines and making hilarious jokes throughout the session.


After talking about their latest books, the publishers were pitted against each other for our favourite heroine. Of course, Celaena Sardothien won!


Following these reveals, it was also extremely entertaining seeing people go up against each other for their own pitches of books in exchange for prizes.

Is This Just a Fantasy? – Claire Zorn, Michael Grant, Jack Heath & Jay Kristoff

Michael Grant, Jack Heath, Claire Zorn, Jay Kristoff & Victoria Flanagan
Michael Grant, Jack Heath, Claire Zorn, Jay Kristoff & Victoria Flanagan

Part of the reason why I went to TeenCon was to get my books signed by Claire Zorn and Jay Kristoff who are some of my most favourite Aussie authors! We had to get tickets while we were there though, and when I asked the organisers they only had the last 3 left which I picked up! It was so close, I would’ve been so disappointed if I had missed out. Luckily it was meant to be and Aentee, Jenna and I got some great seats at the panel along with Emily. Highlights:

  • I thought Jay Kristoff provided some fantastic insight into the YA community and the way he writes. He says the passion that the audience displays in our community is fantastic and makes it worth writing for!
  • Claire Zorn objected towards her novels (particularly The Sky So Heavy) being called fantasy, because she said it’s based on a nuclear winter, scientific events that can actually happen.
  • I hadn’t heard of Jack Heath before, but he was really entertaining throughout the panel as he referred to his comprehensive notes and showcased his knowledge about the YA audience and writing.
  • Michael Grant is a pioneer, he doesn’t take into account trends in the bookstore but published GONE at the perfect time when dystopian was in trend. Overall, their advice to other writers is to write what you love.

Overall it was a really fantastic panel and I enjoyed the insight and discussions provided by these fabulous authors. It was great finally meeting Claire and Jay at the author signing too!

jeann_jay clairezorn2

After the panel, some of us went to lunch and had some delicious Thai food, before finally hitting the bookstores at Dymocks and Kinokinuya. We got a generous goodie bag of 10 books from TeenCon though (most of which I had doubles of) so we were so tired carrying them around! I’ll show you my haul this weekend.

Overall, I had a fantastic time with fellow bloggers and readers at the Sydney Writer’s Festival and would definitely do it again! It was so much fun meeting everyone and indulging in a day filled with bloggers and books and spending time with my favourites.

Have you been to a writer’s festival before? What books listed here are you looking forward to? 


The following two tabs change content below.
Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

Tags: , , , ,

25 responses to “Event Recap: Sydney Writer’s Festival – TeenCon & Fantasy!

    • Hahha yeah that is the reason why I picked Jenna as a co-blogger, lol JK! But seriously it's meant to be! I definitely will set aside a full day for our catchups! <3 I always have a great time seeing you Jaz!

  1. Book events are really the most amazing thing everrr!! Last year I didn't attend any panels at BEA and this year I made sure to correct that and attended two!
    And Jay is awesome! I was lucky enough to meet him at BEA when he came out to check the line for getting Gemina ARCs!
    My recent post Illumicrate May Box is HERE!!

  2. Grace @ RebelMommyBB

    Oh wow sounds like you had an amazing time!! Yay for meeting up with blogging buddies too. Always looks like so much fun to meet up with people at these types of festivals and conventions. Yay for meeting Claire and Jay at the signing. Glad you had such a great time!!
    My recent post Review ~ Him

    • Thanks Grace, meeting up with other book lovers and bloggers I talk to online is definitely my favourite part of these events. Plus of course, the authors!

  3. keionda

    I CAN'T WAIT to meet some of the blogger friends that I have met through social media and blogging IRL! Thats been a dream of mine since I started blogging so I'm so glad to see that you're doing it and that you're lucky enough to meet up with your two lovely co-bloggers! 🙂 It looks like you guys had so much fun and I loved all of the positivity and love from the authors that spoke! :)Thanks for sharing this awesomeness with us Jeann! 🙂

    • I think it will be so much fun Keionda, I hope you get the chance to do that someday! I can't wait to do it again sometime.

  4. AHHH THIS IS AMAZING!! I love reading everyone's recaps on this because noooo I haven't been to a festival before. Hehe. I mean, I think it would be terrifying (I'm such a shy bean!) but it would be SO amazing to see authors talking and meet them and get books signed. *squawks happily* Plus "write what you love" is such excellent advice. 😀

    • Thank you Cait! It is definitely terrifying but all the amazing bloggers and people just made it worth it! <3 plus of course, the signed books and authors!

    • LOL I haven't seen that yet Joy thankfully! Michael Grant was so exhausted when he was at the session, it's a long way to Australia from the States.

  5. Kara

    I'm so glad you had a good time, Jeann!! (I THINK I saw you in the crowd at one point but I wasn't 100% sure it was you, and you know, social anxiety…) Will Kostakis was such a great witty/hilarious host, right?! I'll admit one of the reasons I wanted to go to the morning session was because it was hosted by him–I absolutely loved THE FIRST THIRD. I'm actually a Greek Australian, and I don't read about many characters of the same nationality, so it definitely has a special place in my heart. Soo jealous I couldn't make it to the fantasy session–I had to leave right after–but it sounded brilliant. Hearing Jay Kristoff speak in particular would have been amazing! Looking forward to seeing your haul. 🙂 🙂
    My recent post A Long Overdue Reading Update

    • Thanks Kara! I totally know what you mean about the social anxiety, even though I met lots of people there were just so many people there it was overwhelming! Will was totally fantastic, I'm so glad you enjoyed the sessiuon you went too! Posting up my haul tomorrow 🙂

  6. Ah, this sounds like such a wonderful experience! The panels you went to sounded really fun and interesting. I love Will Kostakis and I'm so jealous you met Jay Kristoff, haha. I'm glad you had such a great time!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge