Check out the amazing panellists attending this year’s YACon!

Alex Adsett

Alex Adsett is a literary agent and publishing consultant, who has been working in the publishing and bookselling industry for the last almost twenty years.  She has managed Alex Adsett Publishing Services since 2008. As a consultant, Alex provides commercial and strategic advice to authors and independent publishers regarding publishing contracts. She has worked with publishers including Editia, Sleepers, University of Queensland Press, Australian Society of Authors, and the Copyright Agency, and authors such as Graeme Simsion, Isobelle Carmody, Barry Humphries, and Kylie Chan. She is often to be found on twitter at @alexadsett or skulking around bookshops.

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and has been described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). Her series include The Illuminae Files, The Starbound Trilogy, Unearthed and Elementals: Ice Wolves. Her work is in development for film and TV, and has taken home multiple Aurealis Awards, an ABIA, a Gold Inky, made multiple best-of lists and been shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. Raised in Australia and Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution, and once got to work as a storytelling consultant at NASA. She lives in Melbourne with her husband, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

Beau Kondos

Beau Kondos grew up in Melbourne and was captivated by strong women kicking arse on TV. After realising he wasn’t cut out to save the world, he started training to be a geeky sidekick by soaking up the contents of Greek mythology and philosophy books. When he’s not working at a publishing house, you’ll find him travelling the world on a food adventure or making big decisions at his local supermarket’s ice-cream freezer. His writing has been published in The Monthly and The Saturday Paper, and his debut YA fantasy novel The Path of the Lost was released in July 2018.


Brianna – who usually goes by Bree – is a bit of a crazy one, taking on more projects than she can handle and organising her life in advance to the second. She is hardcore devoted to her blog, giving hugs, and the Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare. When she isn’t using her spare time to be creative or lurk in bookstores; Bree is working in an office or studying towards her childhood dream of completing her Accounting degree and getting her CPA.
Instagram/ Twitter: @thebookishbree


Clare Rhoden

Clare Rhoden’s dystopian YA sci-fi novel The Pale was published by Odyssey Books in September 2017. The sequel, Broad Plain Darkening, will be released on October 20 2018. She has a WWI novel (The Stars in the Night) being published this December, and a middle grade novel featuring magic cats is in the production line for 2019.

Clare is a speech pathologist who has also worked as a university learning skills adviser, a student services manager, an online learning and teaching consultant, and a lecturer in English literature. Clare lives in Melbourne with her husband and their dog Aeryn .

Jes Layton

Jes Layton (23, she/he) is a geek with a hat. Born on Gulidjan land, now living on Wurundjeri. Jes writes about and draws queer-nerdy things. She is the Administration Officer for the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature office, a freelancer, and a YA writer/advocate. Her work has been published in The Victorian Writer, Reading Victoria, “Others”: An RMIT Anthology, Underdog Short Stories with Black Inc Books, and online (under several dozen pseudonyms). He has appeared at several lit festivals around Melbourne discussing fanfiction and online fannish culture. Try as he might, Jes is unable to keep his houseplants alive for very long. Send your condolence GIFs to @AGeekwithaHat (twitter/Insta).

Jodi McAlister

Jodi is an author and academic from Kiama, a seaside holiday town on the south coast of New South Wales. Her PhD was awarded by Macquarie University in 2015, and she is currently a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction. It means that reading romance novels and watching The Bachelor is technically work for her.
You can find Jodi on Twitter at @JodiMcA, where she tweets regularly about her research, her writing, cool things she finds interesting, her hero worship of Kate Bush, and her slightly-too-intense passion for The Bold and the Beautiful. She is the author of Valentine, Ironheart and Misrule in the Valentine series.

Katya de Becerra

Katya de Becerra wanted to be an Egyptologist when she grew up. Instead, she became a cultural anthropologist – not the type who goes away to faraway locales but the one who sticks to the urban and the familiar and attempts to view it through a stranger’s lens. She immigrated to Australia in 2006, after having lived in Russia, USA and Peru, and now writes young adult fiction set in some peculiar place with a mercurial atmosphere where strange things go bump in the night. What The Woods Keep is her first book.

About the book:

Kat Mullen

Kat Mullen has been running her BookTube channel, Stars and Embers, since 2014. It’s the best place to use the skills she learnt from her Bachelor of Media. She loves fantasy novels, puppies, underrated female superheroes, and cookies. If you’re a Buffy fan let her know on Twitter @katrosemullen, she’s always ready to fangirl with you.

Lauren Mitchell

Liz Barr

Lynette Noni

Having studied both journalism and academic writing at university, Lynette Noni completed a degree in human behaviour before venturing into the world of fiction. She is the author of the bestselling YA fantasy series, The Medoran Chroncles, as well as a second YA series (the first book entitled Whisper) due for release internationally in 2018.

A regular panelist at national and local events, Lynette has featured at Sydney Writers’ Festival, Emerging Writers’ Festival (as part of the National Writers’ Conference), Supanova Pop Culture Exhibition, GenreCon, the National Young Writers’ Festival, Bellingen Readers and Writers Festival, Voices on the Coast, and the Australian National Speculative Fiction Convention.

Marlee Jane Ward

I’m a writer, reader and weirdo from Melbourne, Australia. I grew up on the Central Coast of New South Wales and studied creative writing at the University of Wollongong. I attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in 2014.
My debut novella, Welcome To Orphancorpwon Seizure’s Viva La Novella 3 and the 2016 Victorian Premiers Literary Award for Young Adult Fiction. It was shortlisted for The NSW Premiers Award, an Aurealis Award, and the Norma K Hemming Award. The sequel, Psynodewas released in May of 2017 and was shortlisted for best YA novel in the 2018 Aurealis Awards. The third and final book in the series is due out in early 2019.

Michael Pryor



Renee April is a YA author with a list of literary mistakes longer than this biography. Having accidentally made the iBooks bestseller list with her awful self-published debut, she has the crumb of an idea about marketing and publishing – which is about where her expertise fizzles out. Hastily self-published at twenty-one, with abandoned projects littering her hard drive, and a pair of baby cockatiels that screamed her deaf so she could better concentrate on her work, Renee is the author of Her Crown of Fire, a YA fantasy due in 2019 from Write Plan

Sarah Robinson-Hatch


Tanzeem Taiyus

Tanzeem is an avid reader of books who has her head stuck in the clouds all day, every day. She is a member of the very first Centre for Youth Literature, Dog’s Advisory Board for, and has interviewed notable Australian authors including Simmone Howell, Fiona Wood and Nova Weetman. When not reading Tanzeem can be found eating bucket loads of ice cream or furiously writing down all the ideas that get stuck in her head.