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Teen programs

The Library's teen programs (formerly presented under the banner of the Centre for Youth Literature) connect Australian teenagers with books, stories, writing – and each other.

We run friendly events and digital programs with young adults and industry professionals: teachers, librarians, publishers, booksellers, illustrators and writers.

State Library Victoria is a Child Safe Organisation. Learn more about how we are working to ensure the wellbeing of children visiting the Library.

Reading Matters

Reading Matters is Australia's leading youth literature program. Share ideas with colleagues from across the country, find inspiration in outstanding talent and mull over the thorny ethical issues facing teenage readers today.

Story Camp

Story Camp is a free four-hour workshop (including lunch and transport) held over three days at State Library Victoria for young people from eligible schools in Greater Melbourne.

Story Camp has been made possible through philanthropic grant funding from the Crown Resorts Foundation and Packer Family Foundation. The last scheduled Story Camp is in July 2019.

Inky Awards

'Adult prizes are judged by adults; young adult prizes should be judged by young adults.'
– Lily, age 14, Inky Awards 2013 judge

Australia's annual awards for new youth literature, the Inky Awards are decided by young adults. We run a year-long program of events and celebrations, featuring:

  • a mentorship program for teen judges
  • an exciting array of longlisted books – the longlist and judges are announced in March
  • a quality shortlist of 10 Australian and international books – the shortlist is announced in July
  • a public vote by teen readers – voting runs from July to August
  • the Inky Awards gold (Australian) and silver (international) winners – announced in September.

Inside a Dog

'Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside a dog, it's too dark to read.'
– Groucho Marx

A safe space for teenagers to talk together about books and stories, writing and culture, our popular and fun Inside a Dog website is Australia's peer book-reviewing site for young people.

Professional development programs

YA showcase

At this annual event, publishers of youth literature share highlights from the year, alongside their most anticipated forthcoming titles for the year ahead.

Public and school library networks

We regularly present on youth literature trends, recommendations and innovations at conferences and for partner organisations' development programs.


Stay in touch

The history of teen programs at State Library Victoria


The Centre for Youth Literature begins as the Youth Literature Project, founded by pioneering teacher and youth literature advocate Agnes Nieuwenhuizen.


The Youth Literature Project becomes Centre for Youth Literature, moving to the State Library in 1999. The centre originally receives funding from the Australia Council but this ceases in 2015 and the Library fully funds reader development activities from this time.


As part of the renewal of the Library's programs and services for its Vision 2020 redevelopment, the Centre for Youth Literature is retired, and programs for audiences of all ages are brought under the single banner of State Library Victoria.

When it began, CYL was one of the first organisations to focus on youth literature readers and writers. Today, YA literature is firmly established as a thriving and distinct genre of its own, and young readers of all ages are a core and ongoing audience for the Library.

The State Library continues to support young readers through our reader development and education programs.