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Same Sex in YA - Holden Sheppard, Raphael Farmer, Alicia Tuckerman & Jess Gately

8:00 AM, Sunday 16 Aug 2020 AWST (1 hour)
Online Virtual Venue - Sunday Webinar Room

Relationships in fiction aren’t new but same-sex relationships have begun to appear more regularly in recent years, especially in YA Fiction. But how do you portray these relationships in a way that is still familiar and at the same time different from what is considered the norm? Three authors, three different approaches to what to include and what not to include in writing same-sex relationships in Aussie YA Fiction.


Holden Sheppard

Holden Sheppard is an award-winning author raised in Geraldton, Western Australia and now based in Perth. His debut YA novelInvisible Boys, about teenage boys growing up gay in the country, won the 2018 City of Fremantle T.A.G. Hungerford Award and is published by Fremantle Press. His novella “Poster Boy”, a story of internalised homophobia set against the backdrop of Australia’s 2017 same-sex marriage postal survey, won the 2018 Novella Project competition and was published inGriffith Review. Holden’s writing has also appeared inTen Daily, theHuffington Post,page seventeen andIndigo Journal.

Alicia Tuckerman

Alicia Tuckerman is a Perth based author who has appeared on panels at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Bellingen Writers’ Festival, The Children’s Book Council of Australia, A Night with Our Stars and at Centre for Stories events. Alicia’s debut Young Adult novelIf I Tell You was published in 2018 by Pantera Press and was shortlisted for the 2018 WA Premier’s Book Award in the Emerging Writer category. Tuckerman’s short storyGlass will appear in the Margaret River Press/Ethos Books collection,In This Desert There Were Seeds, releasing in Australia and Singapore in November 2019.

Raphael Farmer

Raphael Farmer is a Young Adult author originally from the island of Mauritius and now based in Perth, Western Australia. His short storyIsland Boy has appeared inWave After Wave published by the Centre For Stories. In 2019, he participated in the Digital Writers’ Festival in Melbourne. Raphael’s background as a gay man raised Muslim in a multicultural island nation has influenced his storytelling. He is driven to explore the intersection of sexual, social and cultural identities in his writing, with his fiction often revolving around characters undertaking a transformation or change in their identity.

Jess Gately

Jess Gately is a Perth-based freelance writer and editor with a Masters of Professional Writing and Publishing from Curtin University. She is a founding member and editor at Underground Writers, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting emerging Australian writers, and runs their online bookstore Underground Books which stocks the work of debut Australian authors. She has worked for Fremantle Press, has presented panels to authors on developing their online presence and social media, and works as a photographer for literary organisations and individuals. She enjoys travelling with her partner, exploring wineries, and sitting by the pool with a good book.


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