Sydney Writers’ Festival 2019 :: All Day YA

Yesterday was one of my favourite book events of the year – the Sydney Writers’ Festival All Day YA. This was my third time – if you’d like to check out my posts about previous years you can see 2017 here and 2018 here. Honestly, I think the SWF just does the most amazing job with their YA programming, and each year I come home wishing we had a similar event at our writers’ festival in Canberra!
In short, the day is split up into 5 time slots, with two sessions to chose from at each time. Tickets are $10 for each event, and they are a mix of panels, in conversation, and performances. The last event of the day is Teen Con, where representatives from some of the bigger publishing houses introduce some of the upcoming titles they are most excited about – plus, there are free books for everyone!
Here is my obligatory book stack photo – the stack on the left is mine, and they were mostly books I brought with me from home to ask authors to sign – I did buy the second Children of the Dragon  book (which I believe comes out this week) and Kindred (more raving about that below), and later in the day picked up both of Dhonielle Clayton’s The Belles novels.

  

I love that all of the events are in one location and on the same day – I feel like this gives it a proper festival feel – and also that the events are all so affordable. Perhaps my favourite thing about All Day YA is how accessible all the authors are – they are available to sign books between sessions, and often spend most of the breaks chatting with readers, and are so generous with their time and open about their experiences.

It is always hard to chose between events – this year I went to these:

While all of the sessions were amazing, there is always one that really stands out, or touches me deeper than the rest. This year that was Rewriting the Body, which brought home to me again the importance of people – especially young people – having the opportunity to see themselves in the books they read. It also really opened my eyes to the hate people can be exposed to simply for pushing for better representation. Jenna Guillaume, Dhonielle Clayton, and Jax Jacki Brown were all incredible on this panel, and Jordi Kerr did an exceptional job of moderating/chairing. Check out the link to the event here for more info about them!

One more special highlight this year was the chance to pick up a sneaky special early copy of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories, which is being released in June. I’ve been looking forward to this collection and you’ll be hearing more about it from me closer to the release date for sure!

Thanks again to the SWF organisers for such a wonderful event – I’m already excited for next year!

xo Bron

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