Explore the 2024 Program


Secondary School Days

Learn from some of the world's most exciting literary talents 

Over four presentations, students will be inspired and challenged through thoughtful discussion of literature and ideas. Authors will share insights into the writing process, invite students to consider new perspectives, and encourage them in their own creative pursuits. 

Four esteemed young adult authors come together to share insights behind their work. Featuring master of action and suspense, Jack Heath, Young People’s Poet Laureate and Carnegie Medal award winner, Elizabeth Acevedo, First Nations author and Fulbright Scholar, Graham Akhurst, and New York Times bestselling fantasy author, C.S. Pacat.

Secondary School Days is programmed with students in Years 7 to 10 in mind but is suitable for all high-school students.

View the brochure here or explore the full program below. 

Book into Secondary School Days

🗓️ Monday May 20: The Concourse, Chatswood

🗓️ Tuesday May 21: Sydney Town Hall (supported by UNSW Sydney) – SOLD OUT

🗓️ Thursday May 23: Riverside Theatres, Parramatta


Jack Heath: Licence to Thrill

Jack Heath’s many book credits include a range of heart stopping thrillers for both children and adults. His latest YA novel is If You Tell Anyone, You’re Next, centres a missing teenager and an exclusive (and dangerous) group chat run by anonymous teenagers. Find out how Jack plots and paces his novels and discover his tips on writing suspense and action.

Elizabeth Acevedo: Carving Your Own Path

Elizabeth Acevedo is a Dominican-American poet and author whose critically acclaimed novels weave in themes of race, gender and equality, frequently with an infusion of hope. Elizabeth is a strong advocator for diversifying our literary canon for young readers and including a greater representation of previously marginalised voices. Join Elizabeth as she shares the inspiration and drive behind her celebrated work.

Graham Akhurst: Close Connections

Graham Akhurst’s debut novel, Borderland, is a speculative eco-horror that explores Indigenous youth identity, eco-politics, and Indigenous connection to land. Hear how Graham has drawn from his experience growing up Indigenous in Meanjin (Brisbane) and his approach to crafting a story that draws upon ancient culture but is rendered through a fictional lens.

C.S. Pacat: Finding Your Way

Dark Heir is the explosive and highly anticipated sequel to New York Times bestselling Dark Rise. In this session C.S. Pacat will delve into the craft of world-building and explore ways in which fantasy writing can reflect, explore and even challenge the way we see our everyday world.

For more information about Secondary School Days, please contact us:

📞 (02) 9256 4200

📧 ticketing@swf.org.au

Education FAQs

🕤 9.30am Arrive at venue

🕙 10am Morning sessions

🕦 11.40am Lunch break and book signings

🕧 12.40pm Afternoon sessions

🕜 1.40pm Book signing

🕑 2pm Finish

Elizabeth Acevedo

Elizabeth Acevedo is the United States’ Young People’s Poet Laureate and The New York Times–bestselling author of The Poet X, winner of the National Book Award and the Carnegie medal. She is a National Poetry Slam Champion and also the author of bestselling YA titles With the Fire on High and Clap When You Land. She is currently based in Washington, DC.

Graham Akhurst

Graham Akhurst is a Kokomini writer who grew up in Meanjin. He is a Lecturer of Australian Indigenous Studies and Creative Writing at University of Technology Sydney. As a Fulbright Scholar, Graham took his love for writing to New York City, where he studied for an Masters of Fine Arts in Fiction at Hunter College. He is a board member for the First Nations Artists and Writers Network and Varuna. He lives with his wife on Gadigal Country in Sydney. Borderland is his first novel.

Jack Heath

Jack Heath wrote his first book in high school and submitted it to a publisher at age 17. He’s now the award-winning and #1 bestselling author of 40 action-packed thrillers, translated into nine languages. He lives on Ngunnawal/Ngambri land with his wife, kids, chickens and fish. He writes full-time but often gets distracted by memes sent to @jackheathwriter.

C.S. Pacat

C.S. Pacat is The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Dark Rise, the Captive Prince trilogy and the GLAAD-nominated graphic novels Fence. Born in Australia and educated at the University of Melbourne, C.S. Pacat has since lived in a number of cities, including Tokyo and Perugia, and currently resides and writes in Melbourne.

Tuesday May 21 supported by