Me at the Adelaide Writers Festival

In early March I will be at the Adelaide Writers Week. Which is the oldest and most prestigey1 writers festival in all of Australia.

I’ve never been before. Indeed, I’ve never done any events in Adelaide unless you count going to a friend’s wedding.2

Here are my events:

West Stage, 2.30pm

The readership for YA fiction continues to grow and grow. Yet for young women today questions of identity, sexuality and friendship remain as problematic as ever. This session asks – how do women write for girls? Join Isobelle Carmody, author of the Obernewtyn Chronicles, Justine Larbalestier, author of Liar, and Vikki Wakefield, author of Friday Brown for a spirited conversation about women and words.

Isobelle is one of Australia’s most popular YA fantasy writers. Her fans span generations and all clutch her books to their chests like they are precious babies. She’s wonderful and funny and genuinely does not think like anyone else I have ever met. I did a panel with her at last year’s Sydney Writer’s Festival and it truly was awesome. Mostly because of Isobelle. So if you’re in Adelaide you want to see this.

I’m looking forward to meeting Vikki Wakefield. I’ve heard good things about her debut novel All I Ever Wanted. Yes, it’s true, not all Australian YA authors know each other. But we’ll fix that after a few more festival appearances.

My other event is:

West Stage, 3.45pm

As the debate about what it means to be a feminist is ongoing, this session brings together three writers, all of whom identify as feminists. Justine Larbalestier is a YA and fantasy writer, playwright Bryony Lavery is the author of iconic works including Thursday, and Chika Unigwe is the author of the novel On Black Sister’s Street, about a group of African women in the sex trade.

This panel marks the first time I’ve ever been on a panel with writers for grown ups (i.e. whose audience is presumed to be primarily adults, as opposed to mine which is presumed to be mostly teens) at a literary festival. I think it’s wonderful that there’s a festival in the world that is actively breaking down boundaries between genres and writers and readers. Honestly, I was so surprised when I saw this I thought they’d made a mistake. Then I looked at the whole programme. And, lo, it’s full of such inter-genre cross over panels. Way to go, AWW, way to go!

I like that they list all the panellists’ nationalities. I was excited when I saw there was a USian on both my panels. But a little bewildered when I looked the other panellists up and discovered none of them were from the USA. I’d been looking forward to asking where they were from, and if they knew NYC or any of the other cities I know, we could compare notes. Which is when I realised that I am the USian on those panels.


In my defense I’ve only been a US citizen for a year. It’s easy to forget.

TL;DR:3 I will be in Adelaide in early March. Come to my panels!

  1. Yes, that’s a real word. Shut up! []
  2. Which, no, I don’t. It was a lot of fun, but. I love weddings! So much love! So many wonderful speeches about love! So many opportunities for it to all go horribly wrong! Especially at doomed weddings between those Who Should Not Marry. Someday I’m going to write a Doomed Wedding book. Though to be clear: the Adelaide wedding was not doomed. Um, I think I’m digressing. []
  3. For the old people that stands for: Too long, Didn’t Read. You’re welcome. []


  1. Isabel on #

    I am so excited about this! πŸ˜€ I’m visiting my aunt in Adelaide for the first time in 14 years. I’m trying to be equally excited about that as I am about going to your panels. (And Scott’s.) (And the rest of Writers’ Week.)Turns out she goes every year anyway so we can have family bonding time.

  2. Justine on #

    Isabel: Excellent! I approve of families and bonding and you coming to my panels. πŸ™‚

  3. Isabel on #

    πŸ˜€ Glad you approve. (It has occurred to me that I may look like I spend a disproportionate amount of time following your Twitter/blog. I’m not a stalker I swear, I just have a job which provides ample internet time over summer.)

    The classification of writers’ nationalities is interesting. Hope you are bringing your USian know-how! I had to chuckle a bit – my once upon a time thesis supervisor is also presenting and he’s marked down as UK/NZ. I suppose he HAS only lived exclusively in NZ since ’81.

  4. fairyhedgehog on #

    Hey! Us old people know what tl;dr is too! Well, some of us do. I do, anyway.

    And roflcopter and TMI and and IMNSHO and LOLcats. Some of us oldies have been around the interwebs for a while!


  5. Ellen on #

    This is the most exciting thing ever! I am so there.

Comments are closed.