Reading Matters 2015: speaker biographies

State Library Victoria on a sunny day

The 11th annual Reading Matters program features a variety of events with leading YA authors, fresh new voices and youth literature specialists. For tickets and more information, visit the Reading Matters event page. 

Laurie Halse Anderson (US)

Laurie Halse Anderson is the author of several books for young adults, including WintergirlsThe Impossible Knife of Memory and New York Times bestseller Speak. She is also the recipient of the prestigious ALAN Award (2008), which honours those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of adolescent literature. Read more about Laurie.

Sara Farizan (US)

The daughter of Iranian immigrants, Sara Farizan lives in San Francisco, but Boston, Massachusetts, will always be home. She is an MFA graduate of Selsey University and holds a BA in film and media studies from American University. Sara is the acclaimed author of If You Could Be Mine and Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.

Sally Gardner (UK)

Sally Gardner is a multi-award-winning novelist whose work has been translated into more than 22 languages. Her novel Maggot Moon won both the Costa Children's Book Prize and the Carnegie Medal 2013. Early 2015 will see the release of The Door that Led to WhereRead more about Sally.

Clare Atkins

Clare Atkins is the author of Nona & Me, her first book which she wrote while living in Arnhem Land. She has worked as a scriptwriter for many successful television series including All SaintsHome & AwayWinners and Losers and WonderlandRead more about Clare.

Erin Gough

Erin Gough is a Sydney-based writer whose award-winning short stories have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including Black Inc.'s Best Australian Stories. Her debut novel for young adults, The Flywheel, was chosen for Hardie Grant Egmont's Ampersand Project and will be published in early 2015. Read more about Erin.

Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Kyle Hughes-Odgers is an Australian visual artist. For over a decade he has exhibited and created artwork throughout Australia and internationally. Kyle and author Meg Mckinlay won the 2013 SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/New Zealand for the children’s book Ten Tiny Things, published through Fremantle Press. Kyle's latest picture book, On a Small Island, was published in October 2014 by Fremantle Press. Read more about Kyle.

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is the award-winning co-author of These Broken Stars and This Shattered World, the first books in a YA sci-fi trilogy published in 13 countries and counting. These Broken Stars won the Aurealis Award for Best YA Novel, was shortlisted for the Gold Inky Award, was the Huffington Post’s Best YA Book of 2013 and is in development for TV. Amie’s new trilogy, The Illuminae Files, launches in 2015. Amie lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog and an extremely large personal library. Read more about Amie.

Will Kostakis

Will Kostakis was only 19 when his first novel for young adults, Loathing Lola, was released. His second novel, The First Third, was shortlisted for the 2014 CBCA awards in the Older Readers category and won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. His new book, Stuff Happens: Sean, is his first book for younger readers. Read more about Will.

Jaclyn Moriarty

Jaclyn Moriarty grew up in Sydney, lived in the US, UK and Canada, and now lives in Sydney again. Her books include Feeling Sorry for CeliaFinding Cassie Crazy and, most recently, The Colours of Madeleine trilogy. The first in that trilogy, A Corner of White, won the NSW Premier's Literary Award and the Queensland Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Nebula (Andre Norton Prize) and was named a Kirkus Best Book of the Year. Read more about Jaclyn.

Abe Nouk

Abe Nouk’s journey has taken him from speaking no English to performing at the Glastonbury Festival of the Arts and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. Abe is an author, a spoken-word performer and hip-hop artist, and the Director of Creative Rebellion Youth Enterprises.

Tom Taylor

Melbourne-born Tom Taylor is a multi-award-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling author, playwright and screenwriter. He is perhaps best known as the writer of the bestselling DC Comics series Injustice: Gods Among Us and Earth-Two, and Marvel’s Superior Ironman as well as his many Star Wars works. He is the co-creator of The Deep graphic novels, which have been optioned by Technicolor and are currently being developed into a 26-episode CG animated series with Taylor in the head writer role.

Jared Thomas

Jared Thomas is a Nukunu person of the Southern Flinders Ranges. His novel Calypso Summer was recently shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Award for Indigenous Writing. His work explores the power of belonging and culture. He lives in Adelaide with his partner and two daughters.

Sean Williams

Sean Williams is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of over 40 award-winning novels for readers of all ages, some set in the Star Wars universe, some written with his friend Garth Nix. His latest is Crash, book two of the Twinmaker series. He lives in Adelaide. Read more about Sean.

Stay tuned for all Reading Matters news by signing up for the Centre for Youth Literature’s enewsletter. For inquiries, please call 03 8664 7014 or email youthlit@slv.vic.gov.au.

Young Adult booklist

Laurie Halse Anderson

  • Speak (1999)
  • Catalyst (2002)
  • Prom (2005)
  • Twisted (2007)
  • Wintergirls (2009)
  • The Impossible Knife of Memory (2014)

Clare Atkins

  • Nona and Me (2014)

Sara Farizan

  • If You Could Be Mine (2013)
  • Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel (2014)

Sally Gardner

  • I, Coriander (2005)
  • The Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution (2007)
  • The Silver Blade (2008)
  • The Double Shadow (2011)
  • Maggot Moon (2012)
  • Tinder (2013)
  • The Door that Led to Where (2015)

Erin Gough

  • Flywheel (2015)

Kyle Hughes-Odgers

  • Ten Tiny Things (2012)
  • On a Small Island (2014)

Amie Kaufman

  • These Broken Stars (2013)
  • This Shattered World (2014)
  • Illuminae (2015)

Will Kostakis

  • Loathing Lola (2008)
  • The First Third (2013)
  • Stuff Happens: Sean (2014)
  • TBC (2015)

Jaclyn Moriarty

  • Feeling Sorry for Celia (2000)
  • Finding Cassie Crazy (2003)
  • I Have a Bed Made of Buttermilk Pancakes (2005)
  • The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie (2006)
  • The Spell Book of Listen Taylor (2007)
  • Dreaming of Amelia (2009)
  • The Corner of White (2012)
  • The Cracks in the Kingdom (2014)

Abe Nouk

Tom Taylor

  • Star Wars: Invasion (2009–12)
  • Star Wars: Blood Ties (2010)
  • The Deep: Here Be Dragons (2011)
  • Star Wars: Darth Maul (2012)
  • Rose and Thorn (2012)
  • The Deep: The Vanishing Island (2013)
  • Earth-Two (2013–)
  • Injustice: Gods Amongst Us (2013–)
  • Superior Iron Man (2014–)

Jared Thomas

  • Sweet Guy (2005)
  • Calypso Summer (2014)

Sean Williams

  • Broken Land: The Dust Devils (2007)
  • Broken Land: The Changeling (2008) 
  • Broken Land: The Scarecrow (2009)
  • Fixers: Castle of the Zombies (2010)
  • Fixers: Planet of the Cyborgs (2010)
  • Fixers: Curse of the Vampire (2011)
  • Fixers: Invasion of the Freaks (2011)
  • Troubletwisters (2011)
  • Troubletwisters: The Monster (2012)
  • Troubletwisters: The Mystery of the Golden Card (2013)
  • Troubletwisters: The Missing (Missing, Presumed Evil) (2014)
  • Twinmaker: Jump (2013)
  • Twinmaker: Crash (2014)
  • Spirit Animals Book 3: Blood Ties (2014)