The Sydney Writer’s Festival

Hey there! Its Ally and I’m back with an exciting review. Recently, I was able to attend the Sydney Writer’s Fest in….well, Sydney. For those of you who don’t know much about the festival, it is basically a day where you can attend panels with your favourite authors, poets and publishers.  It was such an awesome experience (it always is), so I wanted to share some of my favourite highlights. Let’s get straight into it!

*Special thanks to The Sydney Writer’s Festival and Samantha, for agreeing to pay for my tickets in exchange for an honest review. You guys rock!!!



** Yes, I am a mature young adult. I totally did not add a picture of Kermit the frog to convey my love for the Festival. Nope. Not at all. I’m so mature.





12:00 PM– Along with the rest of my family (I somehow managed to drag them along with me???? What sorcery is this??), I hopped on a train bound for Parramatta. (an area of Sydney, for those of you who don’t know NSW very well. I mean, I live in Sydney and don’t know it very well, so…*awakward silence*)

12:45 PM– We arrived at the venue the Festival was being held at- The Riverside Theatres and went straight to the box office for tickets. Here is a beautiful picture of the building that I totally stole off the internet because I forgot to take a picture myself *oops* :


1:00 PM– After getting tickets from the box office, I met up with my amazing IRL friends (shoutout to Siri, Melia, Laurena, Karenza, Emma, Dani and Izzy), and then also somehow found my book friends (shoutout to Grace and Kaz).

1:30 PM- Then, at 1:30, my first panel began: “Architects of New Worlds’. This particular session was about world-building (which is a massive surprise, considering the title) and science fiction/fantasy.



  • Jesse Andrews (Me, Earl and The Dying Girl)
  • Jay Kristoff (The Illuminae Files)
  • Cally Black (YA Sci-fi author)
  • Claire G. Coleman (An Indigenous Australian Writer)


  • Jesse Andrews ruined one of his contacts and had to walk off stage to get it fixed (apparently it was sticking to his eyeball)
  • They talked about their own books and Jesse said that his publicist was shaking her head in disappointment in the front row, at his failure to properly talk about the book.
  • Amie and Jay had an argument about the end of Obsidio (Illuminae Files 3) because Jay is darker and Amie has a happier outlook.
  • Jay wrote a vampire book in the middle of the Twilight era


  • “There aren’t any rules to world building.”
  • “For a book to make literary fiction, all you have to do is not sell many copies.” #BURN
  • JAY: “In a sci-fi novel, you can just blow sh*t up if the plot gets boring.”
  • JESSE: “The movements of richer people, completely flatten the poor.”
  • JAY: *when talking about his vampire book* Yeah… that will never see the light of day. Which isn’t a vampire pun!”
  • JAY: *about what they would change in the world* “Yeah I’d want fewer people. #Thanos”

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the panel and would rate it 10/10. Everyone worked really well together and the MC was invested in all of the authors, which took away all the awkwardness of a first time meeting/panel.




3:00 PM- I must admit, even though I deliberately booked in a for a Poetry session, I had very low expectations. So, it was with a huge amount of relief that I found myself in my favourite session for the day. #POETRY DEBATE was a debate between two AMAZING poets about the integrity of poetry. At the very end, both poets performed their own pieces, and each was incredible. I didn’t have time to take many notes during the debates because they happened so fast, but I loved every bit.

120/10. Would very much recommend!




PICTURED: Omar Musa & Evelyn Araluen, the two Australian Poets who performed at #POETRY DEBATE.

4:30 PM- By four-thirty, I’d eaten my fair share of doughnuts, chips and chicken. I’d also lost my phone which was fun! (Don’t worry- I managed to track it down to the front office eventually) But, the day was far from over, and it was time for the most anticipated event:


Teen Con is a one and half hour session that features publishers talking about their upcoming books, free book pack giveaways and super cool games. I managed to win a copy of “More Than We Can Tell” by Brigid Kemmerer, after asking a question about young people in the publishing industry. The Con was hosted by author extraordinaire, Will Kostakis (no seriously- he’s HILARIOUS), and it was a perfect end to such a great day.


After Teen Con, the Sydney Writer’s Festival wrapped up to an end and I once again found myself sitting in my room and how it all went by so fast. *queue sobs*


TIR Separators

So, to conclude, I absolutely LOVED this year’s festival and I cannot wait for the next one. Thank you once again to the Sydney Writer’s Festival for organising my tickets, and see you all next Monday!

-Ally xx

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