Will Kostakis: A Conversation About Diversity in Children’s Writing #3

Will Kostakis: A Conversation About Diversity in Children’s Writing #3

‘I wasted too much time thinking there was a part of me I couldn’t telegraph, that I shouldn’t share. I would rework that.’ – Will Kostakis, Monuments

Why is there still a lack of diversity in children’s books?

Late in 2019, Better Reading was awarded a grant from the Copyright Agency to produce a six-part series, A Conversation about Diversity in Children’s Writing. At the time we could not have predicted what 2020 would bring. We now understand more than ever how little we know, and how important these conversations are. It’s a time for us to ask questions, and listen to the answers provided by people who are more knowledgeable than us on this subject. In this episode, that person is Will Kostakis.

YA superstar, Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister’s Literary awards.

Will’s first fantasy novel, Monuments, was released in 2019 and is a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable book. The sequel, Rebel Gods, follows this year.

Will’s novel, The Sidekicks is about three guys with separate lives who shared a best friend. And when that best friend dies they become three very different young guys who all experience loss when their mutual friend dies. One of the characters, Ryan is gay, and with the only friend who knew his sexuality now gone, his fear that people will ‘find out’ who he is becomes amplified.

Will regularly speaks at schools.

In this episode, Will and Cheryl discuss his experience around writing his truth, LGBT in Children’s Literature, how ‘diverse’ authors get labelled (and put on the diverse panels at festivals) and reflecting the real world in the literature we read.

Listen now

 

 

 

Acknowledgment of Cultural Fund support

Better Reading acknowledges the support provided by Copyright Agency.

 

Reviews

The Power of the Gods: Read an Extract from Monuments

Review | Extract

30 August 2019

The Power of the Gods: Read an Extract from Monuments

Gods, Guardians and Hounds: Review of Monuments

Review

27 August 2019

Gods, Guardians and Hounds: Review of Monuments

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    Publisher details

    Monuments
    Publisher
    Hachette
    Genres
    Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
    Released
    27 August, 2019

    Synopsis

    When Connor Giannopoulos discovers a Monument under his high school, he doesn't have any idea how much his life is going to change forever. It turns out that immortality and strength beyond his wildest dreams is a bit more responsibility than he bargained for.All 16-year-old Connor is trying to do is avoid his ex-best friend when he stumbles upon a trapdoor to a secret chamber under his school. But when Sally Rodgers breaks into the same secret chamber looking for an ancient being, things take an unexpected turn . . . and Connor's life will never be the same again.Along with the mysterious Sally and, later on, his new friend Locky, Connor discovers the Monuments - gods who have been buried for generations - who created the world and hid themselves away from humanity to keep everyone safe. But now they're exposed and vulnerable, and Connor isn't sure who, himself included, can be trusted with the knowledge and the power these gods have.MONUMENTS is the first book in an exciting new duology from YA star, Will Kostakis.
     

    Publisher details

    The Sidekicks
    Author
    Will Kostakis
    Publisher
    Penguin
    Released
    29 February, 2016

    Synopsis

    All Ryan, Harley and Miles had in common was Isaac. They lived different lives, had different interests and kept different secrets. But they shared the same best friend. They were sidekicks. And now that Isaac's gone, what does that make them?Will Kostakis, award-winning author of The First Third, perfectly depicts the pain and pleasure of this teenage world, piecing together three points of view with intricate splendour.
    Will Kostakis
    About the author

    Will Kostakis

    Will Kostakis is an award-winning author for young adults. His first novel, Loathing Lola, was released when he was just nineteen, and his second, The First Third, won the 2014 Gold Inky Award. It was also shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year and Australian Prime Minister's Literary awards. The Sidekicks was his third novel for young adults, and his American debut. As a high school student, Will won Sydney Morning Herald Young Writer of the Year for a collection of short stories.

    Books by Will Kostakis

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