Top 5 Clunes Booktown Festival Moments

Clunes Booktown Festival is an annual celebration of Australian literature, authors, and industry professionals. Overnight, the town is transformed into an outdoor library, with bookstores, nicknacks, and homemade sweets lining the streets. We’re so excited to be back here for the second year in a row. We’ve already had a spectacular start to the weekend.

Although there have been many highlights so far, here is our top five from today!

1. Clunes Booktown Atmosphere

Nestled in the Victorian countryside, Clunes is a gorgeous little historical town situated in the Central Goldfield region — only about two hours out of Melbourne. As we descended down from the hills, it was like entering another world cast in the golden and bronze hues of autumn. Streets are lined with oak trees, brick buildings and the busy hum of morning chatter. The chilly air was scented with freshly baked goods, old books and strong coffee. There was a sense of wonder rippling through the crowd. What more could you ask for?

2. Panel One: Reading to Escape, Or Face, Reality

One of our absolute highlights was visiting the Free Lending Library, where we got to listen to Gabrielle Wang, Jack Henseleit, Nicole Hayes and Danielle Binks. All of these amazing industry professionals had so much knowledge to share about whether we read to escape, or face, reality. They also talked about the need for better representation, authenticity, and the moral obligation authors hold.Read More »

Introverts’ Night Out

Come along to Melbourne’s bookish pyjama party!

As introverts, we understand the struggle of going out sometimes, when all you really want to do is stay inside and finish reading your book. WE GET IT. But this is a night out just for us! Wear your pyjamas or a onesie (or something super comfy) and come to this night of YA fun with #LoveOzYA superstars Jodi McAlister, Astrid Scholte, and Michael Pryor.

Introverts’ Night Out is on Saturday 1 June from 6 – 8.30pm at the Library at the Dock (Docklands, Melbourne). Tickets are only $5! Book yours now so you don’t miss out on this bookish party for introverts (don’t worry, we love extroverts as well).

What’s involved?

Food!

Who doesn’t love some delicious snacks?! There’ll be cupcakes, sweets and savoury items. Dinner won’t be provided, but hey, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t eat cake for dinner. We totally support that.

Trivia!

Brush up on your YA general knowledge, because there’s going to be a ton of prizes up for grabs! Think you can name the lead actors from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before? What about recall the trades from all thirteen districts in The Hunger Games? Glory could be yours!

An AMA (Ask Me Anything) panel with three #LoveOzYA authors!

Ever wondered what the weirdest thing in an author’s Google search history is? Or what about how they overcome barriers or plot holes in their writing? You’ll have the chance to pick these three authors’ brains on everything from which fictional characters they’d like to team up with during the zombie apocalypse, to what their publication journey was like, and even what they’re working on now.

Readings from the authors!

There’s nothing more soothing than having stories read aloud to you, is there? These three authors will be reading from their novels, and they might even do the voices as well. After all, it wouldn’t be a pyjama-themed bookish party without a bedtime story!

Book your ticket here.

Location Information

Introverts’ Night Out will be held at the Library at the Dock (107 Victoria Harbour Promenade, Docklands). The Library at the Dock is a 12 minute tram trip from the tram stop opposite Dymocks Melbourne on Collins Street (just near Swanson Street), or a 6 minute tram trip from Southern Cross Station on Collins Street. Hop on the number 11 or 48 tram and get off at the end of the line at Victoria Harbour Docklands. From there, the Library at the Dock is a 1 minute walk, right near the waterfront.

Upon arrival, please proceed to the rear entrance of the building, opposite a small park. If you’re arriving by tram, you can’t miss it. Doors will open at 5.45pm, and as this event is held after hours, there will be no access to the library prior to 5.45pm.

This event is wheelchair accessible.

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About the authors…

Jodi McAlister

Jodi-McAlister001_web-2Jodi is an author and academic from Kiama, a seaside holiday town on the south coast of New South Wales. Her PhD was awarded by Macquarie University in 2015, and she is currently a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction. It means that reading romance novels and watching The Bachelor is technically work for her.

You can find Jodi on Twitter at @JodiMcA, where she tweets regularly about her research, her writing, cool things she finds interesting, her hero worship of Kate Bush, and her slightly-too-intense passion for The Bold and the Beautiful. She is the author of Valentine, Ironheart and Misrule in the Valentine series.


Astrid Scholte

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 11.21.21 amRaised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. She’s spent the last ten years working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron’s Avatar, Steven Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin and Happy Feet 2 by George Miller.

She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head. When she’s not writing, she’s painting her favourite fictional characters and obliging her furry overlords, Lilo and Mickey. She lives in Melbourne.


Michael Pryor

Pryor1-lo-resMichael Pryor is one of Australia’s premier Science Fiction and Fantasy authors.

He has more than a million words in print, publishing more than thirty-five books and over fifty short stories.

Michael has been shortlisted seven times for the Aurealis Awards and seven of his books have been CBCA Notable Books.

For more on Michael and his books, go to http://www.michaelpryor.com.au.

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The YA Room

YA Day 2019

YA Day is back in 2019! We’re thrilled to announce that the event will take place on Saturday 9th February from 10am – 4pm at the Wheeler Centre, in partnership with Writers Victoria. With five epic panels and fifteen incredible authors, it’s going to be an unmissable day.

Book your tickets here.

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From the queen of creeps, Sarah Epstein, the fantastic Fleur Ferris, and Adult and YA author Anna Snoekstra, find out how to give readers nightmares in the best possible way.

IMG_2926 Sarah Epstein is an author, illustrator and designer who grew up in suburban Sydney and now lives in Melbourne with her husband, two sons and a doggo called Luna.

After achieving a design degree and enjoying a 25-year graphic design career, Sarah returned to her first loves of writing and illustrating. Her debut novel Small Spaces, a YA psychological thriller, was shortlisted for The Readings Young Adult Book Prize.


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Fleur Ferris spent sixteen years working in Police and Ambulance Services in Victoria and South Australia before her debut, Risk, was published by Penguin Random House Australia in 2015. Risk was nominated and won numerous awards, was published internationally and became an Australian Top 10 Bestseller. Risk was adapted to stage by a secondary school in Sweden and that adaptation, Risk: the play, is licensed and available to schools and drama clubs. Fleur’s second book, Black, came out in 2016 and quickly became Australia’s number one bestselling YA “new release” of 2016 and was optioned for film. Wreck, Fleur’s third crime thriller for young adults, was released in 2017. Found, another action thriller, will be released in July, 2018. Fleur has recently undertaken studies in screenwriting, is co-writing the screenplay adaptation of Black and is working on her next novel which will be released in July 2019.


IMG_2923Anna Snoekstra was born in Canberra, Australia to two civil servants. At the age of seventeen, she decided to avoid a full-time job and a steady wage to move to Melbourne and become a writer. She studied Creative Writing and Cinema at The University of Melbourne, followed by Screenwriting at RMIT University.

After finishing university, Anna wrote for independent films and fringe theatre and directed music videos. During this time, she worked as a cheesemonger, a waitress, a Christmas elf, a nanny, a receptionist, a cinema attendant and a film reviewer.

Anna now writes novels, teaches storytelling at RMIT University and Co-ordinates the Write Club at 100 Story Building. Her non-fiction has appeared in The Guardian, Filmme Fatales and she is a regular contributor to Lindsay. Her first novel Only Daughter was released in 2016, and is currently in the works to be turned into a feature film with Universal Pictures. Her second, the acclaimed Little Secrets, was released in 2017. Her first novel for Young Adults, the best selling Mercy Point, is out now.Read More »

Ask About… YA Publishing Event

Attention all aspiring novelists! Do you dream of one day seeing your novel in a bookstore, in a library, or being read by a total stranger at a train station? Do you sweat tears and blood working night and day, drafting WIP after WIP? Or perhaps you are busy polishing off your final draft like the undiscovered diamond it is. Perhaps, you have a manuscript ready to go!

The publishing industry can be daunting to navigate. It is easy to be uncertain of where to go or what to do next. Here, at the YA Room, we are proud to announce a very exciting opportunity – Ask About… YA Publishing.  Join us on the 15 November at The Wheeler Centre to gain some pro-tips from Shivaun Plozza, author of Tin Heart, and Michelle Madden, Commissioning Editor at Penguin Random House.

Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity to gain firsthand insight into your future career! We cannot wait to see you all there!Read More »

Australian Reading Hour | Wrap Up

Yesterday was the annual Australian Reading Hour! Even though every day is spent reading for most of us, the Australian Reading Hour brings together the whole country and encourages everyone to take up the time to pick up a book for an hour. It’s always so great to see everyone participating in the act of reading and spreading the love for all their favourite authors and novels.

This year, we decided to host an epic event to celebrate #LoveOzYA with three of our favourite authors: Sarah Epstein, Steph Bowe, and Melissa Keil! We absolutely adore these three incredible authors and we were so thrilled they could join us for a panel discussion and some silent reading.

Read More »

Australian Reading Hour

This Thursday, we’re celebrating the Australian Reading Hour by hosting a night of #LoveOzYA celebrations with three incredible authors: Melissa Keil, Steph Bowe, and Sarah Epstein!

There’ll be a panel discussion, a book swap, and silent reading. And, as all great reading sessions involve, there’ll also be tea and chocolate! We’re so excited to have these three #LoveOzYA sensations in our presence for a fun night of bookish chatter and reading.

Grab your ticket here!

Other awesome things are happening…

Book Swap

There’ll also be a book swap / donation drive happening on the night! Bring along any read or unread books to trade for a new one for a small donation you see fit. All funds raised will be donated to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and all leftover books will be donated to be sent across Australia. So please bring as many children and YA books as you can spare, as well as some cash if you’d like to take home a novel!Read More »

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Screening

On Saturday night, we hosted a viewing party for the film To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a Netflix film adapted from Jenny Han’s novel of the same name – and the first in an adorable trilogy. And what an incredible night it was!

We were joined by around 30 passionate YA and film enthusiasts at the Library at the Dock to gorge on cupcakes, write love letters to our bookish crushes, and then sit down and watch the movie together. It was such a fun night, and the movie was even better because we got to fangirl about it together in real life.

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