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Reading Matters: speaker biographies

The 10th 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. 

Myke Bartlett

Myke Bartlett was born in Perth, and spent his first twenty years trying to escape. A trained journalist, Bartlett writes on politics, movies, pop culture and rock music for Australia’s best known cultural publications. His debut young adult novel Fire in the sea won the 2011 Text Prize. Read more about Myke.

Libba Bray

Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of The Gemma Doyle trilogy; the Printz Award-winning Going bovine; Beauty queens; and The diviners. She is originally from Texas but makes her home in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband, son, and two sociopathic cats. Read more about Libba.

Paul Callaghan

Paul Callaghan is a freelance writer and independent game developer.  He has just stepped-down as the director of Freeplay, an annual independent games festival that emphasises creativity and focuses on the intersection between art, games, education, and the broader digital culture. His writing on games, play, and storytelling has been published online and in print in a variety of esteemed locations, including if:book Australia, Kill your darlings, and Meanjin. Away from games, Paul has written award-winning short-stories, short films, comics, and too many articles to count. Read more about Paul.

Alison Croggon

Alison Croggon has published award-winning poetry, plays and an opera or two. She started writing fantasy in the late 90s, was nominated for two Aurealis awards in 2002, and reimagined the spooky moors of Brontë in her 2012 YA release Black springRead more about Alison.

John Flanagan

John Flanagan's bestselling Ranger’s apprentice adventure series originally comprised twenty short stories, written to encourage his then-twelve-year-old son, Michael, to enjoy reading. Now sold to more than twenty countries, the series regularly appears on the New York Times Bestseller list and has been shortlisted for children's book awards in Australia and overseas. His latest series, Brotherband, takes readers on new, sea-faring adventures within the Ranger’s apprentice world. Read more about John.

Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is a Brooklyn based, award winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle. She burst onto the scene with the bestselling contemporary titles If I stay and Where she went available in eleven countries worldwide. Her latest release, Just one day, is the first in a romantic duet of novels about Paris, heartache, and identity. Read more about Gayle.

Morris Gleitzman

Morris Gleitzman is a Very Famous Writer, known as much for his keen wit (with a roguish edge) as he is for his hugely successful, multi-award-winning books. He grew up in England, moved to Australia when he was sixteen, and worked many varied and colourful jobs before beginning his writing career as a screenwriter. His first children's novel The other facts of life was published in 1985. His most recent novel, After, was released in 2012. Of the many, many books in between Two weeks with the queen may be the most lauded. Maybe. Read more about Morris.

Keith Gray 

Keith Gray is a full-time writer living and working in Edinburgh, a sister City of Literature. His first novel, Creepers, was shortlisted for the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize. He has since released a number of critically-acclaimed YA novels which have won, or been shortlisted for, several major awards including the Carnegie Medal and the Costa Children’s Book Award. Never an author to shy away from difficult subject matter, Keith’s novels are often deemed ‘controversial’. Keith was a keynote speaker for the 2012-2013 World Writers’ Conference, and has also worked on a number of writing and teen focused projects with literary organisations including the Scottish Book Trust and the Edinburgh City of Literature. Read more about Keith.

Ambelin Kwaymullina

Ambelin Kwaymullina is a writer, illustrator, Lecturer in the Law School at the University of Western Australia, and a Palyku person (from the Pilbara region in the north-west of WA). Her first YA novel, The interrogation of Ashala Wolf – a dystopian novel with an indigenous edge - was released in July 2012. Read more about Ambelin.

Andrew McGahan

Andrew McGahan debuted on the literary scene with The Australian Vogel Literary Award-winning Praise. In 2004 he won the Miles Franklin Literary Award for The white earth. The coming of the whirlpool was the first title in his move into youth literature – the beginning of a swashbuckling series full of action and adventure. Read more about Andrew.

Garth Nix

Garth Nix was born to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth studied at the University of Canberra and having finished his degree, worked in a bookshop, then as a book publicist, a publisher's sales representative, and editor. Nix is the brains behind the internationally recognised Abhorsen series as well as the more recent Keys to the kingdom series, and A confusion of princes. Read more about Garth.

Tim Sinclair

Tim Sinclair is poet, novelist, sound creator, and PhD candidate examining young adult post-apocalyptic fiction. His publications include Nine hours north (a verse novel) and Re:reading the dictionary (poetry for word nerds). His latest verse novel, Run will be released in March 2013 – a YA paranoid thriller about parkourRead more about Tim.

Raina Telgemeier

Raina Telgemeier is a freelance artist based in New York. She established herself in graphic novel circles with her adaptations of The babysitter’s club, but it was her memoir graphic novel Smile that became an international bestseller and winner of the Eisner Award for Best Publication for a Teen Audience (2011). Her latest graphic novel, Drama, tackles the world of high school theatre. Read more about Raina

Vikki Wakefield 

Vikki Wakefield has worked in journalism, communications, and graphic design, but it wasn’t until 2009, when she enrolled in a professional writing TAFE diploma, that she truly found her calling. Her debut novel, All I ever wanted, won the Adelaide Writers’ Week award for Young Adult Fiction and has been shortlisted for a number of other Australian YA literary awards. Her second novel Friday Brown was released in August 2012. Read more about Vikki

Gabrielle Williams 

Gabrielle Williams has worked in recording studios, advertising and television. Her first novel for young adults, Beatle meets Destiny, was shortlisted for two literary awards in 2010. She followed this success with The reluctant hallelujah, which was shortlisted for the 2012 Gold Inky awards. Read more about Gabrielle

Fiona Wood

Fiona Wood has been writing for television for ten years. Her screen credits include Something in the air, Always greener, MDA, The secret life of us, Home & away, Neighbours, and the children's dramas Sleepover club and Silver sun. She has also worked as a freelance journalist. Her debut novel Six impossible things was shortlisted for the CBCA book of the year: older readers. Her second novel, Wildlife, will be released in 2013. Read more about Fiona.

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