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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.


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 Age, Huffington 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 s... Read more

Elle McNicol

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 B... Read more

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 b... Read more

Melanie 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 ... Read more

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. Dr Chapman has served as a literacy specialist focused on criti... Read more

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. In 2012 Marisa founded the Ampersand Prize, one of Australia’s leading awards ... Read more

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 ... Read more

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.