My Dream Bookish Panels

Hi everyone! A little while ago, I was inspired by Eventbrite (who I’ve used heaps in the past to make bookings for bookish events, and I hope to use their tools in the future to plan bookish meet-ups) to consider what my dream conference panels would look like! I absolutely love attending author panels, such as at the Melbourne Writers Festival, and so this idea of sharing my dream bookish panels with you gave me the opportunity to:

a.) Be frustrated that these panels aren’t a real thing.

b.) Desperately beg the bookish gods to make this happen.

c.) Devise a plan about how I can kidnap all my favourite authors.

But mostly, my considerations consisted of major fangirling and thinking of which authors I’d like to see on a panel together – and even create my dream fictional panel!  If it were actually possible to have all of these authors in a room together, Eventbrite has great conference management tools that would make hosting a book conference panel super easy.

Let’s get into discussing what my dream panels would be!

Rainbow Rowell and David Levithan at the Melbourne Writers Festival


Seeing as I live in Melbourne and therefore don’t have the opportunity to go to BEA or any of those other amazing American book festivals, it’s only fitting that I begin with my dream Aussie author panel. I chose these three authors because I feel they capture the feeling of the Australian lifestyle and effectively communicate that to the reader.

  • Claire Zorn
  • Shivaun Plozza
  • Melina Marchetta


If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you’ll know that there’s nothing I adore more than a slow-burning but intense love in novels. It’s integral that all great novels with romantic elements have characters with chemistry, are wary about insta-love and are swoon-worthy. I think these authors write romance just right!

  • Rainbow Rowell
  • Stephanie Perkins
  • Jennifer E. Smith


Another genre I’m particularly fond of is crime, and I’m also a person who enjoys writing about murder, crime sprees, and everything that would probably put me on the government watch list with everything I Google as research. If I needed a partner in crime, or three, these are the people I’d choose!

  • Fleur Ferris
  • Ellie Marney
  • Rebecca James


There’s nothing better than a well-written sci-fi, am I right? I find that it’s sometimes difficult to immerse yourself in these futuristic, science-fiction worlds and it definitely takes a talented author to write really compelling and engrossing YA sci-fi. But these three authors are all fantastic, and I highly recommend checking out their books if you need something to add to your TBR!

  • Jay Kristoff
  • Amie Kaufman
  • Meagan Spooner
David Levithan discussing writing about LGBTQIA themes at the Melbourne Writers Festival


It’s also really important to remember to read diversely, so these three authors are people I’d love to see discussing writing about LGBTQIA themes and characters!

  • David Levithan
  • Adam Silvera
  • Erin Gough


Although I haven’t read many dystopian novels recently, that genre is still a favourite of mine! I love exploring the worlds that have gone horribly wrong and following the lives of characters in an almost post-apocalyptic setting with oppressing governments and a spark of hope. These authors are particularly brilliant at creating these worlds!

  • Suzanne Collins
  • Veronica Roth
  • Marie Lu


Mental illness is another important topic that’s written about in YA literature, and these three authors are really talented at allowing the reader to fully immerse themselves in the headspace of those suffering to ensure they are about to empathise with the characters and understand a bit about what they’re going through. To me, empathising with others is one of the best things reading allows us to do.

  • Jasmine Warga
  • Jennifer Niven
  • John Corey Whaley


Diversity, or a lack thereof, is an issue being talked about a lot recently in the YA bookish community, and I’ve gotten a lot more diverse recs because of that! I’m so excited to be participating in diverse read-a-thons and promote books written by minorities or #OwnVoices. These are just three of the authors who write diversely / are #OwnVoices that I’d love to see on a panel together!

  • Nicola Yoon
  • Sona Charaipotra
  • Dhonielle Clayton
Anna Funder discussing one of her novels, Stasiland, at the Melbourne Writers Festival


And last but not least, these are the three fictional characters I’d love to see on a panel together! Not only are they all favourite characters of mine, it’d be really interesting to see how they got on and to feel their dynamics!

  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Newt Scamander
  • Cheshire Cat

And that’s just a snapshot of some of my dream bookish panels! It was so much fun making up these lists and I’d absolutely love to see some of them occur.

Let's Talk

What would some of your dream bookish panels look like? Who are some of your favourite authors? Have you been to many book events? Have you been to BEA, or anything similar? Which authors have you heard speak on a panel before? What fictional characters would you like to see on a panel together? I’d love to know!


15 thoughts on “My Dream Bookish Panels

  1. Such a great post Sarah! I would run to every single on of these panels! Some of my dream Author panels would be Becca Albertelli, Leigh Bardugo, Cath Crowly, VE Schwab, Jenny Han and so many more XD I wish we had a BEA in aus I wouldn’t even mind if it was in Sydney or another state all the blogs and vlogs I see of it look amazing

  2. Fantastic ideas, Sarah! Have you thought about becoming an Audience Advocate for MWF, or submitting your ideas to our Digital Suggestions Box? We’d love to consider these for 2017 (though we may struggle to get the Cheshire Cat…)

    • Thank you! Ooh yes, I received an email about that and it’s something I’m definitely interested in applying for. I’ll make a submission to your team tonight via the website! Thanks so much for reaching out, and I hope we can work together to make some of these panels a reality. It’s a shame about Cheshire, though!

    • That’s amazing! It’s my dream to go to one of those conferences / expos. And thanks! I’m very passionate about diversity in the bookish community and I love supporting authors that promote equal representation for all. And yes, you should definitely get around to reading the books by Nicola Yoon! I adore both of them. Thanks for the link too! I’ll check that out 💜

  3. I made one too!
    But the lady who “inspired” me to do this suggested a few edits several times, after I posted it…so I wasn’t happy about that.
    But making the panel was fun and I like yours!

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