Schools’ Program: Secondary

The MWF Schools’ Program brings a series of free videos and education resources to teachers and students, available online from 10–28 August.

Featuring an inspiring line-up of authors, this program will engage and empower young readers and writers to contemplate different ways of enacting change.

No bookings required.

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On Resilience

Mon 10 Aug | Years 6–8

Portrait of Zana Fraillon.

Zana Fraillon, multiple award-winning author of The Bone Sparrow, shares the inspiration behind her novels. In her latest book The Lost Soul Atlas, her protagonist Twig must choose between a blissful future without painful memories and an arduous journey to find his father and piece together his former life.

Fraillon speaks about writing resilient characters as well as treacherous villains, and the pleasures of building vibrant worlds filled with difficult challenges.

Let's Talk About Conflict

Mon 10 Aug | Years 8–10

Environmental portrait of Rawah Arja.

Rawah Arja, author of The F Team, explores the nature of conflict in her writing and uses themes of cultural difference and masculinity as a lens through which to test her characters.

She reveals the inspiration behind her novel, discusses the craft of writing conflict, and shares how she creates engaging and nuanced stories that speak to the power of leadership, teamwork, and bridging differences.

Queer, But Make it Funny

Mon 10 Aug | Years 8–10

Environmental portrait of Will Kostakis.

Join award-winning author Will Kostakis (The First Third, Monuments, and its recent sequel Rebel Gods) for an exploration of why queer characters in fiction tend to be the comic relief – and often at their own expense.

Kostakis discusses how this can impact a young person’s confidence and sense of self, and, drawing from his own work, shows how queer characters don’t have to be laughed at to be loved.

Own Voices Storytelling

Mon 10 Aug | Years 8–10

Portrait of Lisa Fuller.

Young adult fiction is often used as a conduit to explore complex and difficult topics, and Lisa Fuller’s prize-winning debut novel Ghost Bird is no different. She discusses how she uses the tale of a young Aboriginal girl’s disappearance in a small Queensland town as a launchpad to explore questions of colonisation, inter-generational trauma and injustice, and how writing her novel was a corrective to the popular retelling of colonial history in Australia.

Fuller writes the book she wished she’d had in her youth and discusses the power in First Nations Australians seeing themselves and their age-old culture between the pages.

On Kindness

Mon 10 Aug | Years 9–10

Portrait of Helena Fox.

Helena Fox, winner of the 2020 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award in the Young Adult category, explores topics of grief, mental illness, and the importance of community in her work. Her novel, How It Feels to Float, makes a compelling case for kindness – both to each other and to oneself.

In this thoughtful session, Fox discusses the value of listening, of compassion, and how sometimes simply being there for someone can be an act of great kindness.