The Stories We Tell Ourselves

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New Narratives, New Structures: Children’s and YA

Children’s books provide some of our earliest experiences of the power of storytelling. We learn that we can imagine, create and design the worlds we want to see and live in. So, why do the stories we hear, and the people we get to hear them from, often fit within such a narrow spectrum? How can children’s and young adult publishers in Australia and the UK provide more space for underrepresented writers to thrive and tell their stories?

As part of The Stories We Tell Ourselves project, we’ll hear from Elle McNicol, author of A Kind of Spark; Cath Moore, author of Metal Fish, Falling Snow; Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold and Denise Chapman, researchers from the UK and Australia respectively; Aimée Felone, Managing Director of Knights Of; and Marisa Pintado, Publishing Director at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing. Together, they’ll explore the need for more pathways to inclusion and diversity in children’s and young adult writing and publishing. Hosted by Erin Wamala.

This event will be captioned.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves is presented with Spread the Word and the Melbourne City of Literature Office and supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons Board, the British Council and the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season.

New Narratives, New Structures: Children's and YA

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Portrait of Cath Moore

Cath Moore

Of Afro Caribbean and Anglo Irish heritage, Cath Moore is a freelance writer, award-winning filmmaker and educator. She has written for the AgeHuffington Post Australia and SBS Life and has also worked as a story developer for screen content. Cath is a published academic with a PhD in Danish screenwriting practices. Her debut novel Metal Fish Falling Snow won the Victorian Premier's Literary award for YA fiction. She was a contributor to the anthology Growing Up African in Australia and is currently working on her second novel. Cath teaches creative writing at The University of Melbourne.

Portrait of Elle McNicoll

Elle McNicoll

Elle McNicoll is a bestselling and award-winning novelist. Her debut, A Kind of Spark, won the Blue Peter Book Award and the Overall Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, as well as Blackwell’s Book of 2020. She is Carnegie nominated, and was shortlisted for the Books Are My Bag Awards 2020, the Branford Boase Award and The Little Rebels Award.

Portrait of Aimée Felone

Aimée Felone

Aimée Felone is managing director of Knights Of – a commercial children’s publisher whose main focus is publishing inclusively by commissioning writers and illustrators from a diverse range of backgrounds, as well as hiring diversely. At Knights Of she has opened Brixton’s only children’s bookshop, Round Table Books, which exclusively stocks titles from underrepresented authors and illustrators.

Portrait of Melanie Ramdarshan Bold

Melanie Ramdarshan Bold

Dr Melanie Ramdarshan Bold is an Associate Professor at the University of Glasgow, where she teaches and researches children's and YA literature and book culture. Her research specialism is Inclusive Youth Literature and Book Culture, with a particular focus on the representation of people of colour, and the experiences of authors and readers of colour.

Portrait of Denise Chapman

Denise Chapman

Dr Denise Chapman is a counternarrative storyteller, spoken word poet, and critical autoethnographer who lectures in children’s literature, early literacy, and inclusive children’s media at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Portrait of Marisa Pintado

Marisa Pintado

Marisa Pintado is the Publishing Director at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing. She has worked in children's and YA books for more than 15 years and currently works and lives on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne.

Portrait of Erin Wamala

Erin Wamala

Erin is the owner of The Kids' Bookshop and a practising Teacher Librarian. She spent almost 10 years working in publishing, followed by many years as a children's bookseller and librarian. Erin has been a judge for the CBCA Awards, is a regular contributor to Books + Publishing and was recently appointed to the board of the Melbourne Writer's Festival.

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The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Bringing together diverse children’s and adult fiction writers, publishers from inclusive independent presses and academics active in bringing about change in the publishing industry from Britain and Australia, The Stories We Tell Ourselves provides a space for reflection and challenge through opening up the conversation on equity and social justice and the stories we get to hear.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves is presented with Spread the Word and the Melbourne City of Literature Office and supported by the UK/Australia Season Patrons Board, the British Council and the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season.


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