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Teen Writing Bootcamps

Teen Writing Bootcamps

Chase your passion for writing!

Join our 2023 Teen Writing Bootcamps, designed for budding writers from all around Australia aged 13 to 18 years old! 

Learn more about the bootcamps with these online information sessions happening in February 2023. You will hear from the bootcamp host authors and get a taste of what you might learn in their workshops, which will run from March to June 2023.

Sessions

About Didem Caia

Author Didem Caia staring at the camera with a book shelf behind her.

Beginning as a playwright, Didem has developed and produced in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra. In 2015, she was   a ‘25 under 25’ Melbourne Emerging Writers Festival Writer to Watch. Her plays Vile, The University of Longing, and Work in Progress are amongst some of her notable works presented in Australia.  

Didem's writing practice extends into essays and poetry, with her work featuring across many publications such as Currency House Press, The Age and Australian Plays Transform. Didem's first poetry collection, Dis(armed)skin, was recently published as a lithograph by Sunshine Editions.   

More recently, Didem was a 2021 UN Global Voices Scholar interested in women's rights and violence prevention through education. She is currently producing her first feature documentary in partnership with Film Victoria and Documentary Australia titled, Nobody's Daughter.  

Didem is also a lecturer in ‘Storytelling and Scriptwriting’ at RMIT university. 

Discover Didem's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (7 March - 28 March)

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About Lili Wilkinson

Author Lili Wilkinson with pink highlights and wearing a green sequin top.

Lili Wilkinson is the author of sixteen books, including Green Valentine, The Boundless Sublimeand After the Lights Go Out. Lili has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne and now spends most of her time reading and writing books for teenagers.  

Her latest books are The Erasure Initiative and How To Make A Pet Monster: Smidgen.  

Discover Lili's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (9 March - 30 March)

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About Dan Giovannoni

Author Dan Giovannoni wearing a colourful summer shirt.

Dan is a playwright and teacher based in Naarm who writes plays for families, young people, and adults.  

Some of his plays include SLAP. BANG. KISS. (Melbourne Theatre Company), The Great Un-Wondering of Wilbur Whittaker, HOUSE and Bambert’s Book of Lost Stories (Barking Gecko Theatre Company), Loaded (with Christos Tsiolkas, Malthouse Theatre), Air Race (Arena Theatre Company), Merciless Gods (Little Ones Theatre) and with Amelia Chandos Evan’s Cut Snake and Mad as a Cute Snake.  

Dan was an inaugural writer in residence at Melbourne Theatre Company, has won three Green Room Association awards and a Helpmann award, and is currently under commission from Terrapin, Malthouse Theatre, and Melbourne Theatre Company.

Discover Dan's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (2 May - 23 May)

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About Flora Chol

Author Flora Chol wearing a yellow top and colourful earrings.

Flora Chol is a Melbourne-based South Sudanese writer, poet, and community activist. In 2003 Flora arrived in Australia with her mother and siblings as a refugee through the United Nations Humanitarian program.  

In May 2019, Flora published her debut poetic anthology, Tomorrow’s Dream. With writing from an unprovoked sense of creativity, the themes explored in her work delve into the complexities of white society, intergenerational trauma, feminist discourses and the dynamics of growing up as a South Sudanese woman in the Australian Diaspora.  

Flora is a passionate community advocate who dedicates her time to working in the South Sudanese community, particularly the education and youth services sector. Flora is completing her Master of International Community Development at Deakin University and writing her first children’s book through Scribe Publication.

Discover Flora's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (4 May - 25 May)

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About Jessica Walton

Author Jessica Walton with fuchsia pink hair smiling at the camera.

Jessica Walton is a queer, disabled writer and public speaker. They co-wrote an episode of Get Krack!n focused on disability, which aired on ABC in 2019. They are the author of graphic novel Stars In Their Eyes, with artwork by Aśka and Introducing Teddy, illustrated by Dougal MacPherson.  

Jess also has two short stories for teens and kids published in Australian anthologies Funny Bones and Meet Me at the Intersection and poetry in various magazines. 

Discover Jessica's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (30 May - 20 June)

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About Clea Chiller

Author Clea Chiller smiling at the camera wearing purple, dangly earring and a black top.

Clea Chiller is a Melbourne-based artist and illustrator. Her deeply personal works focus on her battles with mental and physical illness. She is the creator of Garbage Bags, a series of darkly humorous autobiographical zines, and has had comics published by The Lifted Brow and Doll Hospital Journal. 

Discover Clea's upcoming Teen Writing Bootcamp sessions (1 June - 22 June)

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2022 Teen Writing Bootcamp: information session #1

This session talks about contemporary fiction with Emily Gale and own voices writing with Nevo Zisin, moderated by Catalina Cox. 

2022 Teen Writing Bootcamp: information session #2

This session talks about science writing with Alicia Sometimes and screen writing with Nova Weetman, moderated by Imogen Piening.

2022 Teen Writing Bootcamp: information session #3

This session talks about slam poetry with Maxine Beneba Clarke and non-fiction/journalism with Leah Jing McIntosh, moderated by Yanan Chai.

2022 recap: Non-fiction writing with Leah Jing McIntosh

At the Library’s Teen Writing Bootcamp from May-June 2022, writer Leah Jing McIntosh explored the art of non-fiction writing with a group of talented young teens.

View Leah's tips and reflections from the bootcamps.

2022 recap: Science writing with Alicia Sometimes

From late April through to mid-May 2022, writer, poet and broadcaster Alicia Sometimes explored the art of science writing with a group of talented young teens in her Teen Writing Bootcamp classes.

View Alicia's tips and reflections from the workshops.

2022 recap: Own Voices writing with Nevo Zisin

Norelle Bladon

At the Library's Teen Writing Bootcamp in March 2022, writer, performer and activist Nevo Zisin taught teens how to find their own voice and write with authenticity.

View their tips and reflections from the workshops.

2022 recap: Contemporary fiction with Emily Gale

At the Library's Teen Writing Bootcamp in March 2022, writer Emily Gale explored the art of contemporary fiction writing with a group of talented young teens.

View Emily's tips and reflections from the workshops.

2022 recap: Screenwriting with Nova Weetman

At the Library’s Teen Writing Bootcamp in late April through to May 2022, writer Nova Weetman explored the art of screenwriting with a group of talented young teens.

View Nova's tips and reflections from the bootcamps.

Resources for new & emerging writers

A long-haired, smiling woman in overalls holds up a sign saying 'A good idea'

So you’ve completed one of State Library Victoria’s Teen Writing Bootcamps. What’s next for you and your writing?

Check out our great list of resources highlighting opportunities for further learning, places and platforms to publish your work, writing prizes and fellowships, and other avenues to explore as you take your next, brave steps as a writer. Go for it!

2021 recap: Jared Thomas on contemporary fiction

Man leaning on a wall and smiling at the camera

Jared Thomas

International award-winning Nukunu author Dr Jared Thomas discusses the basics of writing contemporary fiction.

2021 recap: Zoya Patel on putting creativity into non-fiction writing

Woman standing in front of an orange wall

Zoya Patel

2021 recap: Nevo Zisin on finding your own voice

Headshot in front of a yellow background with a rainbow shirt

Nevo Zisin

Proud Minority

Writer, performer and activist Nevo Zisin shares their tips on writing with authenticity.

2021 recap: Alicia Sometimes on science writing

Woman leaning on a wall and looking at the camera

Alicia Sometimes

Poet, broadcaster and writer Alicia Sometimes shares her thoughts on the art of science writing after her Teen writing boot camp in April.

2021 recap: Zoya Patel on writing opinion that matters

Woman smiling and signing books

Zoya Patel

Learn the basic principles of opinion writing from writer and editor Zoya Patel.

2021 recap: Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa on slam poetry

Woman smiling directly at camera

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa

Poet Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa calls on teens to write from the heart in this blog post about her slam poetry workshop, held in March 2021 as part of the Teen writing boot camp.

2021 recap: Zoya Patel on how to write a compelling feature article

Woman standing in front of a graffiti wall

Zoya Patel

Writer and editor Zoya Patel shares her three top tips for writing feature articles.

2021 recap: Nova Weetman on screenwriting

Woman smiling at camera

Nova Weetman

Screenwriter and LoveOzYA author Nova Weetman shares screenwriting tips and reflections from her boot camp.

2021 recap: Zoya Patel on non-fiction writing

Woman standing in front of a blue wall

Zoya Patel

Writer and editor Zoya Patel shares her musings after the first of her four non-fiction writing boot camp sessions during April 2021.

Thank you

This program has been made possible with the generosity of Serp Hills Foundation and The JTM Foundation.