Festival Program

MWF Teens

Tell Me How It Started

Sat 11 Sep, 10am
Trades Hall, Fringe Common Rooms

Being a teen is tough, but what happens when life really puts your courage to the test? In this panel event, three novelists reveal the inspiration behind YA stories of young women facing down fears—from a former child actor, to a dreamy young artist, to the friends of an abducted student. Don’t miss Danielle Binks (The Monster of Her Age), Kate O’Donnell (This One is Ours) and Leanne Hall (The Gaps) as they reveal the origins of their ideas on stage with Melissa Keil.

Unfortunately due to COVID-19 border restrictions, Will Kostakis is no longer appearing in this event.


1 hour


Event artists

Danielle Binks is a writer and literary agent from Melbourne. The Year the Maps Changed was her debut middle-grade novel, which was recognised as a Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) ‘Notables’ book for 2021. The Monster of Her Age is her first solo foray into YA.

Leanne Hall is an award-winning author of young adult and children's fiction, including This Is Shyness and Iris and the Tiger. Leanne has had shorter pieces published in Meanjin, Best Australian Stories and the anthology Growing Up Asian In Australia. Her latest work is the YA novel, The Gaps.

Melissa Keil is a writer and children’s editor. She is the author of three YA novels and the Barkly Mansion series. Melissa’s books have been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award and the CBCA Book of the Year award, and have been translated into many languages around the world.

Kate O'Donnell is a YA author from Melbourne. She has worked as a bookseller, editor and digital marketer, but it's her fascination for people, music, the future and small unexplored places that inspire her writing. Untidy Towns was released in 2017 and Kate's most recent novel, This One is Ours, won the 2021 Indie Book Awards: Young Adult Book of the Year.

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