All set for Australia’s largest youth literature conference

24 May 2013

Reading Matters, the State Library’s biennial youth literature conference begins Thursday 30 May with a stellar line-up of Australian and international authors leading three days of discussions, workshops and events about writing and publishing for young adult readers.
Conference organiser, Adele Walsh from the Library’s Centre for Youth Literature, said she is very excited by the talent the conference is bringing together.

‘This is our tenth biennial Reading Matters. It has become the biggest young adult literature conference in Australia and this year is one of the best programs we’ve had. We’ve gathered great international authors like Libba Bray and Gayle Forman whose books regularly appear in The New York Times bestseller lists as well as some wonderful Australian writers such as Morris Gleitzman and Miles Franklin Award winner, Andrew McGahan. It will be amazing.’

It is expected that more than 1,000 young people and 500 professionals will attend Reading Matters events in Melbourne.

Walsh said that authors and panellists will discuss all aspects of writing and publishing for young adult readers including the changing way young readers are absorbing stories.

‘Young adult readers are exposed to a multitude of media which far exceeds that of earlier generations. It makes sense that there will be a convergence of ideas across media and also across formats. Does the economy of language used in social media create an appreciation of storytelling in poetry? Do gaming narratives open new storytelling possibilities? What will future storytelling look like and how different will it be from today?’

Reading Matters is developed and presented by the State Library of Victoria’s Centre for Youth Literature. The Centre has been operating for 22 years but Walsh said its mission hasn’t changed since it began.

‘We are still about helping young people to find books that resonate for them, that keep them interested and reading. We have new ways of doing that – online with for example, but it is still about reading for pleasure because that is what makes readers for life.’

Most Reading Matters single day sessions and events have sold out. However, a limited number of conference tickets are still available.

Full details are online at



Media inquiries

Matthew van Hasselt or Georgina Smart
State Library of Victoria, 03 8664 7263,
328 Swanston Street
Melbourne Victoria 3000