2020 has been a hard year for us all, but with Christmas just around the corner, we have something to look forward to. The weather is warming up, our book wishlists are nearly finished, and… is that gingerbread I smell?
Christmas is a time spent with family and friends, and as we bring this year to a close, we think that’s more important than ever. So we’ve planned a special celebration full of activities to share with you all this month!
We’re so excited, and hope you are, too!
Book of the Month
This month, we’re so excited to read Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares with you all! Have you watched the Netflix series yet?
“I’ve left some clues for you. If you want them, turn the page. If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”
So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?
We’ll be hosting a Zoom chat to discuss the book on the 22nd of December at 6:30 AEDT. Tickets will be released soon, so keep an eye out on our social media to grab yours!
Onto the festivities…
First up, we’ve got…
Sign-ups are still ongoing for Secret Santa! Until November 29th, fill out this form+ for the opportunity to send someone what could be their new favourite read and receive a book in return! On the 1st of December you’ll be emailed the details of your giftee, including the kind of book they’d like to receive!
We’re also hosting some…
Christmas movies are one of our favourite parts of the holiday, and there’s just so many to choose from! We’ve narrowed it down to five to watch with you, and we hope you enjoy them!
Last but not least, join us on the evening of the 22nd for a Christmas party! We’ll be talking about our Christmas traditions, reflecting back on the year that was, and sharing our hopes and dreams for the new year. Bring your favourite Christmas drinks and snacks. Tickets will be available soon, so keep an eye on our socials. We hope to see you there!
We hope you’re as excited for the Christmas season as we are!
Don’t forget to tag us in all your social media posts! You can find us on Twitter @ TheYARoom_MELB, Instagram @ theyaroom, and Facebook @ facebook.com/theyaroom.
It’s that time of the year again – the time when horror films are aplenty, pumpkin spice lattes are back on the menu, and you feel a sudden desire to string fake cobwebs across your bookshelves. Ahh, Halloween. How we’ve missed you.
Because Halloween is one of our absolute favourite times of the year (shh, don’t tell the other holidays), we’ve decided to celebrate it in style this year with all of you! We have so many epic things lined up for the month of October. We can barely contain our excitement!
Hands up if you’re excited too!
Book of the Month
We’re so thrilled to be reading None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney with all of you during October!
The Silence of the Lambs meets Sadie in this riveting psychological thriller about two teenagers teaming up with the FBI to track down juvenile serial killers.
In 1982, two teenagers—serial killer survivor Emma Lewis and US Marshal candidate Travis Bell—are recruited by the FBI to interview convicted juvenile killers and provide insight and advice on cold cases. From the start, Emma and Travis develop a quick friendship, gaining information from juvenile murderers that even the FBI can’t crack. But when the team is called in to give advice on an active case—a serial killer who exclusively hunts teenagers—things begin to unravel. Working against the clock, they must turn to one of the country’s most notorious incarcerated murderers for help: teenage sociopath Simon Gutmunsson. Despite Travis’s objections, Emma becomes the conduit between Simon and the FBI team. But while Simon seems to be giving them the information they need to save lives, he’s an expert manipulator playing a very long game…and he has his sights set on Emma.
Captivating, harrowing, and chilling, None Shall Sleep is an all-too-timely exploration of not only the monsters that live among us, but also the monsters that live inside us.
Onto the activities…
First up, we have…
Bingo is back, baby! And this year, it’s spookier than ever. From carving pumpkins to reading a book with a ghost in it, there’s a variety of Halloween-themed activities to check off your list!
Not only does completing five tasks in a row (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) give you major bragging rights, we’ll also be giving you the chance to win a book of your choice (up to $25AUD) in our giveaway! There’s one prize for people who complete one row and another prize for all you high-achievers who complete the entire board. You got this!
All you have to do is complete the tasks you want to complete, post about it on social media, and use the hashtag #YASpookRoom! We can’t wait to see all the spooky challenges you accept in October.
The only rule is that you have to read / watch different things for different tasks! No doubling up! We’ll be posting recommendations all throughout the month, so make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook if you’re in need of some spooky inspiration.
The giveaway is open internationally and will be drawn in the first week of November. Time to get spooky, YA Roomies!
Here are all the prompts from the above graphic, in order of horizontal rows, with prompts from left to right.
ROW ONE: share a spooky story, dress as a book character for a day, read a queer spooky story, watch a foreign language horror film, read a book with murder in it.
ROW TWO: set up Halloween decorations, join a YA Room movie night, watch a horror film with a female protag, read a book with fog on the cover, (virtually) visit someplace haunted.
ROW THREE: read a spooky #LoveOzYA book, watch a spooky horror film from your childhood, read None Shall Sleep, carve a pumpkin, share a spooky shelfie.
ROW FOUR: watch a classic horror film, read a book with a black cover, wear a costume, eat Halloween-themed food, read / watch something with a ghost in it.
ROW FIVE: read a spooky short story, spell your name with spooky book titles, share your top 5 spooky movie recs, read a spooky 2020 YA release, recreate a spooky book cover.
We’ll also be hosting a ton of…
We’ve been loving all our Netflix Parties every Friday night since lockdown began. This October, we’ll be watching a spooky film each week and talking all about them! Some of them are brand new, others are older, but we can’t wait to watch them with you.
If you haven’t joined a Netflix Party before, it’s really easy to use! All you need to do is download the free Netflix Party extension on Chrome, restart your browser, and then click the link to the viewing session we’ll be sharing before each film. Keep an eye out on our social media 10 minutes before the start time of each film to get the link and join the stream! There’ll be a chat bar at the side of your screen so we can all converse during the film.
Shaun of the Dead, Friday 2 October, 8pm AEST
Hubie Halloween, Friday 9 October, 8pm AEDT
A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, Friday 16 October, 8pm AEDT
Rebecca, Friday 23 October, 8pm AEDT
DOUBLE FEATURE! A Quiet Place @ 7.30pm, followed by Bird Box @ 9.30pm AEST, Friday 30 October
We’re also lucky to be hosting a…
Hear Astrid Scholte, Michael Pryor and Anna Morgan talk all about their work and share their favourite Halloween memories on Zoom on Saturday 17 October from 7 – 8pm AEDT!
We’ll be discussing the dark and creepy aspects of their work, hear a little bit about what they’re currently writing, and learn how they get in the mood for writing all of the spookiest scenes.
This month we’re (un)lucky enough to be joined by four literary villains, ready and waiting to answer your burning questions! Have you ever wondered where Count Olaf does his costume shopping? Or maybe you’d like some tips from Jadis the White Witch on garden ornaments?
Send your questions for Count Olaf, Jadis, the Queen of Hearts, and Smaug to theyaroom[at]gmail[dot]com or use the below form for a chance to have your question answered! We’ll be posting one question and answer from a villain each week on our social media.
And finally, we’ll be having a…
Halloween Zoom Chat!
Join us (AND ELLIE MARNEY!) on Saturday 31 October AT 6.30pm AEDT for a spooky Zoom Chat! We’ll be doing a Q&A with Ellie all about her latest novel, None Shall Sleep, and there’ll be plenty of time for you to ask your spine-tingling questions as well.
Following the Q&A, we’ll be having more of an in-depth discussion about our Book of the Month. Make sure you pick up a copy of None Shall Sleep ASAP to join in the fun! We hope to see you there.
Tickets will be released in the middle of October, so keep an eye out on our social media!
We hope you’re as excited for Spooktober as we are!
Don’t forget to use the hashtag #YASpookRoom and tag us in all your social media posts! You can find us on Twitter @ TheYARoom_MELB, Instagram @ theyaroom, and Facebook @ facebook.com/theyaroom.
We’re thrilled to announce that our third annual YA Day will be on Saturday 14 March from 10am – 4pm at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. Presented in partnership with Writers Victoria, YA Day 2020 will feature 10 incredible #LoveOzYA authors, merch stalls, and signing opportunities.
We’ll start off the day with discussions and signings, giving you close encounters with your favourite writers. Get your book signed, get your questions answered, get to know new-to-you authors with great new books!
Then, in the afternoon, we will split into two streams.
Want to write your own YA? We’ll have two 90-minute workshops: Will Kostakis on How to Build A Story and former publisher Kate Cuthbert on How to Get Your Story Out There.
Looking to interact with other readers? We’ll have four panel discussions, featuring your favourite authors talking about topics like ‘My Favourite (Fictional) Murder’, ‘Trash or Treasure?’, and a spirited discussion about which tropes are readable – and which are not.
The Writing Stream has limited spaces, so if you are interested, we encourage you to book early.
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 »
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).
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.
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!
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.
About the authors…
Jodi 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.
Raised 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Anna 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 »
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
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.