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Byron Writers Festival 2024 Secondary Schools Day

Price FREE – $35 AUD + BF Get Tickets

Event description

Byron Writers Festival 2024 

Secondary Schools Day

Join us for the renowned Secondary Schools Day at Byron Writers Festival, held at the festival site in Bangalow.

Through six engaging sessions, students will be invigorated by rich conversations about writing and storytelling, fantasy worlds and outer space, inner demons and strange spirits, human reckonings and inspiring futures. 

Featuring YA authors Lili Wilkinson and Graham Akhurst, comedian Steph Tisdell, astrophysicist Lisa Harvey-Smith, short story writer Mykaela Saunders and poet Luka Lesson, students will enjoy their own Byron Writers Festival experience with author signings, books available to buy, as well as food and drink options. 

Learn among the trees at the Bangalow Showground for Byron Writers Festival’s Secondary School Day, tailored for high school students of any grade level.

Secure your spot for Schools Day now! Simply book and pay with your credit card.


Students - $25 per student (plus booking fee).
- Free (1 per 10 students).
Additional Adults/Parents
- $35 (plus booking fee).

If you need to make any changes, you can cancel any unwanted spots by emailing until 7 June. Please note, after 8 June, we won't be able to process refunds.




9:15am - 10:00am

Arrive at venue

10:15am - 11:00am

Lili Wilkinson or Graham Akhurst

11:00am - 11:30am

Break and book signings

11:15am - 11:30am

SCU Student Writing Prize announcements

11:30am - 12:15pm

Steph Tisdell or Lisa Harvey-Smith

12:15pm - 12:45pm

Lunch break and book signings

12:45pm - 1:15 pm

Mykaela Saunders or Luka Lesson

1:15pm - 1:45pm

Book signings and buses depart

Meet the Authors

Lili Wilkinson

Lili Wilkinson is the award-winning author of nineteen books for young people, including The Erasure Initiative and A Hunger of Thorns. Lili has a PhD from the University of Melbourne, and is a passionate advocate for YA and the young people who read it, establishing the Inky Awards at the Centre for Youth Literature, State Library of Victoria. Her latest book is Deep is the Fen.

Graham Akhurst

Graham Akhurst is a Kokomini writer who grew up in Meanjin. He is the author of Borderland published by UWAP. As a Fulbright Scholar, Graham took his love for writing to New York City, where he studied for an MFA in Fiction at Hunter College. He is the Director of the Centre for the Advancement of Indigenous Knowledges at UTS. 

Steph Tisdell

Steph Tisdell is a proud Ydinji woman. Her warmth and wit has been a hit with audiences and critics alike ever since she won the 2014 Deadly Funny National Grand Final. Her award-winning shows always sell out and she’s a regular on mainstream television shows such as Hughesy We Have a Problem and The Project. Her debut novel is The Skin I’m in, a hilarious, poignant, feisty YA novel.

Lisa Harvey-Smith

Lisa Harvey-Smith is an award-winning astronomer, science communicator and Professor at the University of New South Wales. In 2018 she was appointed as the Australian Government's Ambassador for Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She is the author of The Secret Life of Stars, Little Book, BIG Universe, Aliens and Other Worlds, When Galaxies Collide and best-selling children's book Under the Stars.

Mykaela Saunders

Mykaela Saunders is the author of Always Will Be (UQP 2024), which won the David Unaipon Award, and the editor of This All Come Back Now, the Aurealis Award-winning, world-first anthology of blackfella speculative fiction (UQP 2022). Mykaela has won other prizes for fiction, poetry, life writing and research, including the Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize and the Oodgeroo Noonuccal Indigenous Poetry Prize.

Luka Lesson

Luka Lesson is a poet, rapper and artist of Greek heritage born in Meanjin, Brisbane. His work crosses between the history of his family homeland, the fiercely political and the vulnerably self-reflective. A former Australian Poetry Slam Champion (2011), Luka has featured at the mecca for slam poetry: the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe (NYC), performed with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and toured with respected UK rappers Akala & Lowkey. Luka’s latest project: Agapi & Other Kinds of Love, inspired by the Ancient Greek words for love, is touring nationally in 2024.

Key Information

  • Program designed for students in years 7 to 12
  • Gates open at 9:30am for first session beginning 10:15am
  • On-site bus parking available (weather permitting)
  • Open seating; students free to move between marquees
  • No supervision provided by festival staff
  • Food and beverages available for purchase
  • Authors available for book signings and books are available for purchase from the book shop
  • Stay hydrated with our free water station; bring your water bottle!

We want to make sure everyone can be part of the Byron Writers Festival fun, no matter what. If you have questions about accessibility, funded placements or just have general questions, don't hesitate to reach out to us at or 02 6685 5115.

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