All posts tagged Author Talks


We are excited to announce that our library will be hosting a slam poetry and writing workshop on Friday 18th November between 1:00pm and 3:10pm. Slam poet Emilie Zoey Baker will be running the workshop in our Library Classroom. You can see her perform in the TED video below. It is open to any keen students from years 7 to 11 so if you’re interested in attending please let the library staff know ASAP. It will cost $10 to participate. The year sevens are currently studying poetry in their English classes and so are a few of the older year levels so we thought this would be a great program to run this term to support that learning.


Sara Farizan, Will Kostakis and Amie Kaufman; three of the amazing and diverse writers who spoke at the 2015 Reading Matters Conference

Sara Farizan, Will Kostakis and Amie Kaufman; three of the amazing and diverse writers who spoke at the 2015 Reading Matters Conference

Some of our library staff recently attended a two day conference called Reading Matters, run by the State Library’s Centre for Youth Literature. There, we heard some amazing discussions involving a host of Australian and international authors and illustrators of young adult (or YA) literature.

One of the overarching themes of the conference was the importance of the existence of a wide variety of texts with diverse characters, each telling stories from as many different perspectives as possible. The authors who spoke of this need were themselves from very diverse walks of life, who felt the need to write the kinds of stories that they were never exposed to when they were young because YA books were predominantly written with very western, straight and conservative characters at the fore.

Readers need to identify with the characters in a book and believe that they are real; therefore books need to reflect the diversity of people in the real world. Thankfully, these days, the YA market is full of amazing and diverse stories featuring characters with many different genders, races, religions, sexualities, abilities, dreams, needs, flaws, illnesses… the list goes on and on!  And this is exactly the point! Diversity is a fact of life and the stories we share should reflect that diversity or we are doing our young adults a disservice.

People learn through experience and reading is the sharing of experience. Books have the power to shape, change and even save lives, as the authors we heard speak will attest. A teenager who may not know how to deal with certain issues can safely share the experiences of the characters in a novel and thus become enlightened about how best to conduct themselves. They will learn about the consequences of certain actions. They will see other people’s points of view. It may help them comfort or support their friends or families. It may indeed change or save their life.

FCC Library endeavours to reflect the wonderful diversity of our own school community through the selection of our collection. We have novels, comics, picture books, biographies, non-fiction and short story collections which we feel have as much diversity of content and characters as is available in YA books today. Our staff love to help students select books so come and speak to us if you need anything specific or if you just want to chat about books.

The hashtags #YAmatters and #weneeddiversebooks have been trending on social media recently. Check them out for more perspectives on this topic.




Take a look at these fantastic talks by famous authors to Footscray City College students…


The lovely librarians at Scotch College in Hawthorn invited us to attend this talk by Christopher Paolini in August 2012.

Lauren Oliver visited our school early in 2012 thanks to the awesome people at the Sun Bookshop.

On the 13th August 2013 A.J. Betts visited our library to discuss her book Zac & Mia thanks again to the Sun Bookshop.

A.J. Betts speaks with our Year 9s.

On the 13th August our Year 9 students were treated to a visit from author and teacher A.J. Betts who teaches kids in a major hospital in WA. She talked openly about all of her novels and how she gets her ideas. Betts won the Text Prize for her latest novel Zac & Mia and she spoke about the real kids who helped inspire the book. She was very casual in her approach, often engaging individual students and getting the group to participate in the discussion. The kids were very responsive and participated well. Many kids stayed back after the talk to have a more personal discussion with Amanda about reading books, tips on how to improve their own writing and to get her autograph. A big thanks to Text Publishing and The Sun Bookshop for helping to organise the event.


Author A.J. Betts is coming to FCC!


All of our Year 9 students will be treated to a talk from Perth based author and teacher A.J. Betts, who won the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing for her latest novel Zac & Mia.

The story follows two teens with cancer, in next door rooms of an oncology ward, tapping on the wall between them.  They eventually have contact through Facebook and email and carefully gather information about each other, all the while trying to avoid discussing the reason for being in the ward. It is emotional stuff! This is thematically similar to the current Year 9 text The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and so we thought this talk would give the students another insight into the topic of terminal illnesses and how different people cope with them. A.J. Betts spent some time teaching in an oncology ward so she has first-hand experience on the subject.

The novel has seen rave reviews, here’s what some have said about the book:

‘I think you have to be brave to write a book like this. To write it without overt, condescending sympathy. And to be brave enough to write the moments that are funny, or grotty, or filled with rage, alongside those that are brave and heroic. It’s a book that is well deserving of a prize, and is likely to win many more.’

First Impressions

‘Zac and Mia are unforgettable—they put hooks into my heart that are still there. Be warned: if you pick up this book, you won’t want to put it down.’

Fiona Wood

It is due to the fantastic people at The Sun Bookshop in Yarraville that our students get another great opportunity to hear from a successful writer and I’d like to thank them very much for that. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and also to buy books and get them signed. Copies of Zac & Mia will sell for $19.99 and Betts’ previous novel Wavelength will also be available for $17.95. The talk will take place in the library at 1:40pm on Tuesday 13th August.