Secondary School Program

Secondary Schools Program 

On Monday 1 May or Tuesday 2 May, students were inspired and challenged by some of the most exciting writers in Australia and the world in a thrilling day hosted by Karys McEwen.

Explore the full program for 2023 below. You can also explore our Teacher Resources for creative and critical classroom activities.

Tom Taylor

Ask Me Anything

For 45 minutes, you have access to one of the most sought-after storytelling talents in the world. So … what are you going to ask?

Writing for DC Comics and Marvel as well as creating many of his own worlds and characters, Tom Taylor has written for Batman and Spider-Man, Suicide Squad and X-Men, and Superman and Star Wars, and has created bestselling comics like Injustice, DCeased and Marvel’s Dark Ages. He is also the co-creator and head writer of the Netflix and ABC series, The Deep, based on his graphic novels of the same name, as well as Seven Secrets, and Neverlanders at Penguin Random House.

In this interactive session, students have the chance to ask Tom anything about his craft. From how to write comics and graphic novels that lure even the most reluctant of readers to the impact of representing superheroes’ sexualities – ask away, the floor’s yours.

Learning areas: English, visual arts
Capabilities: critical and creative thinking, personal and social, ethical understanding

Nova Weetman

Main Character Energy

In this special session, students learn how to build their very own main character straight from the master of storytelling herself, Nova Weetman.

The author behind The Edge of Thirteen, Sick Bay and, most recently, The Jammer, Nova shares where her ideas come from and teaches students how to create authentic characters using a variety of different tools. After learning all the tips and tricks of characterisation, students have the chance to develop their own protagonist and ask Nova questions about her many books and unforgettable characters.

KEY CURRICULUM AREAS Learning areas: English Capabilities: critical and creative thinking, personal and social, literacy

Lili Wilkinson

Caught in a Brainstorm

Dragons, witches and forbidden forests! Step into the world of Lili Wilkinson, where ancient magic lies beneath abandoned power plants and energy drinks have psychic powers.

Author of A Hunger of Thorns, Lili knows how to create rich, fantastical worlds that overflow with entrancing details. But how does she come up with them?

Lili leads students in a brainstorming session that will illuminate their imaginations and help them design a world that you can’t wait to get lost in. Add to this Lili’s building blocks for plot and students will leave ready to write their own fantastical tale!

Learning areas: English Capabilities: critical and creative thinking, literacy

Kay Kerr

True Love Stories

Love. Whether it’s between friends or your very first romance – it’s complicated. And if you’re autistic, chances are you’ve been taught you’re doing it wrong. But is there really only one right way to love?

Join autistic author Kay Kerr (Social Queue, Please Don’t Hug Me) in conversation with Karys McEwen as she discusses Love & Autism, her nonfiction celebration of neurodivergent love and finding it on your own terms.

Students explore the highs, lows, heartbreaks and joys in this uplifting account of five people’s journeys in love – and how at the end of the day, we all have to carve out a life that works for us.

Learning areas: English, health and physical education Capabilities: critical and creative thinking, ethical understanding, personal and social