People in the Margins

Melina Marchetta + Melanie Cheng + Tony Birch

Auditorium 2, State Library of Queensland




#About the event


Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta is a bestselling author in more than twenty countries and eighteen languages. She has published award-winning young adult, fantasy and crime fiction, including her acclaimed crime novel, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil. Her much-loved Australian classic, Looking for Alibrandi, swept the pool of literary awards when it was published, and was also released as a film, adapted by Marchetta, winning an AFI Award and an Independent Film Award for best screenplay, as well as the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award and the Film Critics Circle of Australia Award. The companion novel to Marchetta’s award-winning book Saving Francesca, The Piper's Son, also received much acclaim in Australia and internationally, and in 2009 Marchetta won the prestigious Michael L. Printz Award from the American Library Association for Jellicoe Road. She lives in Sydney.
Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner. Of Chinese-Australian heritage, she was born in Adelaide, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne. Her short story collection Australia Day won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript and the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and was shortlisted for the 2018 Indie Book Award for debut fiction and the 2017 Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction. Room for a Stranger is her second book.

Tony Birch

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of three novels and four short story collections, in 2021 he released two new books, a poetry book, Whisper Songs and a new short story collection, Dark As Last Night. His website is:


Joy Lawn

Joy Lawn

Joy Lawn reviews fiction for the Australian newspaper. Her reviews and interviews have also appeared in Australian Book Review, Magpies magazine, SMH/The Age, Books+Publishing and professional journals.

Joy is currently judging fiction for the Queensland Literary Awards and women’s crime writing for the Davitt Awards. She has judged the Prime Minister’s and NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, the Russell Prize for Humour Writing and other awards; blogs about literary fiction, young adult and children’s literature as ‘Joy in Books’ at ‘PaperbarkWords’ blog and loves moderating sessions at writers’ festivals.

Joy is fascinated by ideas and images and how authors and illustrators express these with truth and originality.


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