Genie's Weekly News (58) - May Events Recap ft. Sarah Crossan, Jennifer Niven and Roxane Gay

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

1) Bloomsbury Institute Event

Wednesday saw the first of Australia's 'Bloomsbury Institute' events; small sessions with authors designed so that readers really get a sense of meeting some of their favourite writers. In conversation with Mia Freedman, Sarah Crossan provided such inspiring insight into her process and how it differs when writing in verse as opposed to prose. It was interesting to hear how she collaborated with Brian Conaghan on their latest work We Come Apart - which featured lots of conversations over Whatsapp and many frenzied emails. 

Following your passion and using the inherent creativity within us were other ideas which she spoke about, as well as tackling real issues in her books that can be appreciated at different levels by both adults and those on the cusp of being teens. What I love about her books that I've read so far (One and Apple and Rain) is that they prove books in YA don't have to have a romance to be meaningful or compelling. Friendship comes through as a strong theme, which form some of the strongest relationships of all. I'm definitely looking forward to her latest book Moonrise coming in September, and seeing who Bloomsbury will feature next!

2) Lunch with Jennifer Niven

There's no denying that Jennifer Niven is one of the biggest YA authors right now, especially with her heartbreaking (but amazing) novel All the Bright Places currently being made into a film. Thanks to the team at Penguin Teen Australia I was lucky enough to be invited to a lunch with her and other bloggers Alison and Rebecca from the YA Chronicles, The Bookish Manicurist and Joy Lawn who also writes reviews for the Weekend Australian. As well as talking about how she writes with playlists for each of her characters in her work and what she'd been up to in Australia, Jennifer Niven also shared her experience writing the screenplay for the movie. She is genuinely lovely in person, and I'm so excited to see what other books she'll be hopefully bringing out in future. 

3) Roxane Gay at the Sydney Writer's Festival

Difficult Women is one of my top reads of this year as a brilliantly raw and unflinching portrayal of women in a variety of complex situations. Roxane Gay did not disappoint in her last appearance at the Sydney Writer's Festival, speaking frankly about how she brings feminism into her work, women being perceived as being 'too much', the obsession with 'dead girls' and how she can watch crime series on TV while writing. She definitely kept the conversation real, making the audience laugh with a few jokes on how men can be 'delicate flowers', while retaining an emphasis on gender equality. Since reading this fictional work with stories that are all so different and hard-hitting in their own right, I just know I'm going to have to pick up Bad Feminist to see what her essays are like. 

What bookish events have you been to lately?


  1. I met Jennifer Niven earlier this week as well and she was super lovely! It sounds like you had a great time at the luncheon! So many amazing bookish events that you've been to lately, thanks for the recap Genie! I'm eagerly waiting for Brisbane Writer's Festival.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    1. She definitely is! Hope you have an amazing time at the Brisbane Writer's Festival :)


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