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Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Alison Evans


For the first event in our fiction series, we’re pairing two authors with new books out for younger readers: Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Alison Evans.

You Must Be Layla is Abdel-Magied’s second book, and first foray into fiction, about a young girl from an Islamic family and her struggle to fit in at a new school. Highway Bodies is Alison Evans’s second YA novel. It features queer and gender non-conforming teens who struggle to survive a zombie apocalypse.

Both writers believe issues of representation are crucially important in writing for, and about, young people. For this midday session in March, they’ll talk schoolyard angst, weird science and writing real Australian teen characters for real Australian young readers.


Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-born Australian mechanical engineer, writer and social advocate. Yassmin worked on oil and gas rigs around Australia for almost half a decade before becoming a full-time writer and broadcaster. She published her debut memoir, Yassmin’s Story, at age 24, then... Read more

Alison Evans

Alison Evans is the award-winning author of three young adult (YA) novels: Euphoria Kids (2020), Highway Bodies (2019) and Ida (2017). They are a contributor in the YA anthologies Kindred: 12 Queer #loveozya Stories (2019) and Hometown Haunts: A Horror #loveozya Anthology (2021). They run a fortnigh... Read more

Leanne Hall

Leanne Hall is an award-winning author of young adult and children’s fiction. Her most recent YA novel, The Gaps, won the young adult category of the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature and the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Leann... Read more


The Wheeler Centre

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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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.