Alicia Tuckerman at Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival

I Love Bello Shire interviews Alicia Tuckerman who released her debut novel in 2018 called If I Tell You. Alicia's novel was inspired by the lack of young adult fiction featuring lesbian protagonists. Alicia will be appearing at the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival over the June long weekend.

Perth based Alicia Tuckerman only released her first novel ‘If I Tell You” this year, but is quickly becoming a driving force for young LGBT voices.  In the novel she has drawn on her own life experiences growing up in rural NSW to explore both the triumphs and cruelties of modern day adolescence.  “It is the most troubled parts of my life that have led me to want to write young adult (YA) fiction.  Embracing and really owning your life – all the grisly bits too – can make for great story telling.”

Alicia was drawn to writing ‘If I Tell You‘ because of the paucity of novels featuring two lesbian characters.  As a gay woman, she is keenly aware of the significance of such a novel for young gay adults. “If a novel with similar themes had existed when I was growing up, it would have given me a character and a situation that I could relate to and it would have helped me make sense of my feelings. The key themes in ‘If I Tell You’ are of bravery and self-acceptance and, despite the homophobia, which is an important part of the story, there’s a strong message of hope,” says Alicia.

Alicia is presenting at two sessions at this weekend’s Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival.  We wanted a bit of an inside scoop before she arrives.

Alicia, have you been to Bellingen before?

No I haven’t! It looks so beautiful and I can’t wait to come and check it out. I’m hoping to get time to explore some of the region if I can.

Have you been flat out on the Writers’ Festival Circuit since the release of your first novel ‘If I Tell You’ this year?

It’s been a busy few months. I attended Sydney Writers’ Festival in May which was wonderful and such an unexpected surprise to be invited. I’ve been doing a lot of creative writing workshops and events locally in Perth too. It has been flat out, but I love it!

The novel’s protagonist is a 17-year old gay female, living in a rural town in Australia. Would you say this character is autobiographical or at least in part based on your own experiences?

I think that certainly some of Alex’s fear, hesitation and struggles with self-acceptance come from a place I know well.

I Love Bello Shire interviews Alicia Tuckerman about her debut novel and her appearance at the Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival 2018

A 16 year old Alicia Tuckerman. Alicia describes this time in her life as “lonely”.

I grew up around people who had the opinions and perceptions expressed by characters in the book and I’ve also experienced my share of homophobia in the past (and present). That said, Alex’s story is her own, she is a character independent from me and her experiences in the book aren’t specifically my own.

If the main themes in the novel are something that you know so personally, have you been working on this novel for a long time?

I started writing ‘If I Tell You’ more than ten years ago. The first draft was over 200,000 words long and it sat untouched on my computer for about five years before I went back to it. The finished product is quite different from where it started but I always knew this was the story I wanted to tell first.

Was it difficult to write? The sense of hurt and isolation in the book is so tangible.

There were certainly some parts that were hard to write, but I never want to shy away from that hurt or dilute those feelings. Because life can be painful and teenage pain is real and can be so overwhelming – I think it’s important to acknowledge that. Some things are difficult to write and read about, but they’re real and they have a place in YA fiction.


Recent changes to the Marriage Equality Legislation, changes in the public mood and the very fact that this novel has been published in 2018- must give you hope for future LGBT youths?

Marriage Equality is, of course, wonderful. And I absolutely love that the prevalence of queer characters driving narratives in books and film and TV is increasing. But I think it’s a common misconception within the wider community that simply because Australia achieved Marriage Equality that means homophobia and discrimination and fear and self-loathing are things of the past. There is a great sense of hopefulness for a future free of those things. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting there, and I’m so humbled to be a small part of the fight for equality and hope.

Where to from here? Have you got a second novel in the pipeline?

I have a couple of things on the go. Right now I’m concentrating on one book and will hopefully be finished writing it by the end of July. It’s Bend it Like Beckham meets The Story of Tom Brennan with a little bit of Riverdale thrown in to keep things interesting!

At this year’s Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival you are part of a panel discussion- ‘Writing for Youth’- A New Generation of Readers and Writers. What are the main themes you are hoping will be explored in this session?

With no offence to previous generations, I think young readers are smarter now. They’re switched on and they want stories they can relate to, that reflect their experiences and feelings and what it’s like in their world on the cusp of adulthood, living at lightning pace.

Being a teenager has changed a lot since I lived it myself and you have to work to keep current, particularly when writing contemporary fiction as I do. I hope we can explore the challenges of writing for an ever-changing young audience and how to write authentic and engaging stories that will appeal in a world that’s so saturated with content.

You will also be part of a panel discussion- ‘Challenging Women. Perspectives on Life and Writing’. The women on the panel are all from very different backgrounds. What themes do you hope will be explored during this session?

There is fantastic diversity in fiction written by and about women that should be celebrated. I’m so proud to be able to share the stage with the other women on this panel. I hope we can discuss how our own histories have influenced our writing and the audience we like to write for.  I think to some extent most people have a tendency to want to disassociate from their past – or from certain aspects of their past – but for me, it’s the most troubled parts of my life that have led me to want to write YA fiction.

‘Writing for Youth- A New Generation of Readers and Writers’.
Saturday June 9th, 10.30 am-11.30 am.  Bellingen Youth Hub.
Single Session $20.  Under 20 years- free.

‘Challenging Women.  Perspectives on Life and Writing.’
Sunday June 10th, 9 am- 10 am.  Bellingen Memorial Hall.
Single Session $20.

Bellingen Readers & Writers Festival Program and Tickets.

Alicia Tuckerman Facebook
Alicia Tuckerman Instagram

If you missed last week’s story.

109 Comments

  • Homepage says:

    Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

  • Home Page says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the issue and found most people will consent with your site.

  • Go Here says:

    I was recommended this website by my cousin. I’m not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble. You are incredible! Thanks!

  • you are actually a good webmaster. The website loading velocity is amazing. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a excellent process on this subject!

  • Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • I¡¦ve been exploring for a little for any high-quality articles or weblog posts on this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I eventually stumbled upon this site. Studying this information So i¡¦m happy to exhibit that I’ve a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I most indisputably will make certain to don¡¦t put out of your mind this web site and give it a glance regularly.

  • Good ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your website. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, website theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Excellent task..

  • You made some good points there. I did a search on the issue and found most people will consent with your site.

  • visit here says:

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

  • Click Here says:

    Wonderful site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your sweat!

  • Homepage says:

    Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful

  • Web Site says:

    Whats Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution

  • website says:

    I was just looking for this info for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  • Hiya, I am really glad I have found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and internet and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  • website says:

    Well I sincerely liked studying it. This tip offered by you is very helpful for good planning.

  • visit says:

    I¡¦m not positive where you are getting your information, however good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thanks for excellent info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  • Go Here says:

    Wow! Thank you! I constantly wanted to write on my site something like that. Can I take a portion of your post to my website?

  • Wonderful site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your sweat!

  • Website says:

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the issue and found most people will consent with your site.

  • Web Site says:

    I am constantly searching online for ideas that can facilitate me. Thanks!

  • Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • As a Newbie, I am permanently searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

  • There is noticeably a lot to realize about this. I consider you made some good points in features also.

  • Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

  • Home Page says:

    I do accept as true with all of the ideas you have offered for your post. They are very convincing and can certainly work. Still, the posts are too brief for novices. Could you please prolong them a little from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • Read More says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • more info says:

    Keep functioning ,remarkable job!

  • view source says:

    Hey, you used to write fantastic, but the last several posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

  • Home Page says:

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  • Read More says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • Web Site says:

    I’m still learning from you, but I’m trying to reach my goals. I absolutely enjoy reading all that is posted on your blog.Keep the stories coming. I liked it!

  • view source says:

    Thanks for another informative blog. The place else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a project that I’m simply now working on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

  • Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  • visit here says:

    Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  • Website says:

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  • read more says:

    I think other site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, let alone the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  • I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  • Going Here says:

    I think this is one of the most important info for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  • view source says:

    As I web-site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  • read more says:

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch since I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  • visit here says:

    My brother suggested I might like this website. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  • more info says:

    I¡¦ve recently started a blog, the info you provide on this site has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time

  • Homepage says:

    Great weblog right here! Additionally your web site a lot up fast! What host are you the usage of? Can I get your associate link in your host? I desire my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • You are a very clever person!

  • view source says:

    I truly wanted to post a brief comment to be able to thank you for some of the lovely pointers you are sharing at this site. My incredibly long internet search has at the end of the day been honored with excellent facts and techniques to share with my good friends. I ‘d express that most of us site visitors are really lucky to exist in a wonderful site with so many special people with insightful tips and hints. I feel rather blessed to have come across your site and look forward to so many more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  • Click Here says:

    I truly wanted to post a brief comment to be able to thank you for some of the lovely pointers you are sharing at this site. My incredibly long internet search has at the end of the day been honored with excellent facts and techniques to share with my good friends. I ‘d express that most of us site visitors are really lucky to exist in a wonderful site with so many special people with insightful tips and hints. I feel rather blessed to have come across your site and look forward to so many more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  • Whats Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution

  • read more says:

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire actually enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

  • Very good written information. It will be valuable to anybody who employess it, as well as yours truly :). Keep up the good work – for sure i will check out more posts.

  • Home Page says:

    whoah this weblog is excellent i like reading your posts. Keep up the great paintings! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  • I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here frequently. I am quite sure I’ll learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  • I keep listening to the news update speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been looking around for the best site to get one. Could you advise me please, where could i acquire some?

  • website says:

    Someone necessarily assist to make critically articles I would state. This is the very first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I amazed with the analysis you made to create this particular put up incredible. Great process!

  • I just could not go away your site before suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard info a person supply in your guests? Is going to be back continuously to investigate cross-check new posts

  • Good web site! I really love how it is simple on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your feed which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

  • Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

  • I think other site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and great user genial style and design, let alone the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

  • I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • website says:

    Thanks for another informative blog. The place else could I get that kind of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a project that I’m simply now working on, and I’ve been on the glance out for such info.

  • whoah this weblog is excellent i like reading your posts. Keep up the great paintings! You know, a lot of people are looking around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  • Going Here says:

    I was just looking for this info for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your web site. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that do not rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.

  • Web Site says:

    You are a very clever person!

  • click here says:

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  • Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in web explorer, would test this¡K IE still is the market chief and a huge element of folks will pass over your great writing due to this problem.

  • learn more says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Learn More says:

    hey there and thank you for your info – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this website, as I experienced to reload the web site lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for a lot more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  • Read This says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Wonderful paintings! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning this submit upper! Come on over and discuss with my website . Thank you =)

  • more info says:

    Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

  • learn more says:

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more things about it!

  • visit here says:

    Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • more info says:

    Hi there, I found your site via Google at the same time as looking for a similar subject, your site came up, it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • I have read some just right stuff here. Certainly value bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much attempt you place to make this type of excellent informative website.

  • more info says:

    Thank you for all your work on this site. Gloria enjoys carrying out investigation and it’s really easy to understand why. All of us hear all about the lively mode you convey vital things through this website and cause response from others about this point then our own child is without a doubt learning a lot. Enjoy the remaining portion of the new year. You’re the one carrying out a powerful job.

  • Hi there, You have done an incredible job. I will definitely digg it and personally suggest to my friends. I am sure they’ll be benefited from this site.

  • click here says:

    Hello.This post was extremely interesting, particularly because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last Thursday.

  • Going Here says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • view source says:

    I intended to send you a very small observation to say thanks the moment again on the awesome thoughts you’ve featured in this article. It has been so shockingly generous with you to provide publicly what many individuals would’ve sold for an electronic book to end up making some bucks for themselves, particularly considering the fact that you could have tried it if you ever desired. The thoughts likewise served to become a fantastic way to know that other people have the identical zeal the same as mine to see a good deal more when considering this condition. I’m certain there are millions of more pleasant times in the future for individuals that read through your website.

  • I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  • more info says:

    You are a very clever person!

  • Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all folks you really understand what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my web site =). We may have a link change arrangement between us!

  • Click Here says:

    Hi, Neat post. There is an issue with your website in web explorer, would test this¡K IE still is the market chief and a huge element of folks will pass over your great writing due to this problem.

  • click here says:

    you are actually a good webmaster. The website loading velocity is amazing. It seems that you are doing any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a excellent process on this subject!

  • click here says:

    I simply wanted to say thanks again. I’m not certain the things I would’ve carried out in the absence of these points provided by you regarding such field. It was before a real daunting difficulty in my view, nevertheless considering the very skilled style you treated the issue took me to jump with fulfillment. Extremely grateful for the advice and then expect you comprehend what a great job that you’re putting in training the rest all through your site. Most likely you’ve never met all of us.

  • click here says:

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.

  • Wonderful paintings! This is the kind of info that are meant to be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for no longer positioning this submit upper! Come on over and discuss with my website . Thank you =)

  • Home Page says:

    I’m so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  • click here says:

    Wonderful site. Lots of useful info here. I’m sending it to several pals ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your sweat!

  • Click Here says:

    Whats Going down i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve discovered It positively helpful and it has helped me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution

  • Wow, fantastic blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent, as well as the content!

  • Learn More says:

    You can definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  • Web Site says:

    Thanks , I have recently been searching for info about this topic for ages and yours is the best I’ve found out till now. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure about the source?

  • Go Here says:

    hello!,I like your writing very much! percentage we be in contact extra about your post on AOL? I require a specialist on this area to solve my problem. Maybe that’s you! Having a look forward to peer you.

  • Great beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how can i subscribe for a blog website? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  • Going Here says:

    I truly wanted to post a brief comment to be able to thank you for some of the lovely pointers you are sharing at this site. My incredibly long internet search has at the end of the day been honored with excellent facts and techniques to share with my good friends. I ‘d express that most of us site visitors are really lucky to exist in a wonderful site with so many special people with insightful tips and hints. I feel rather blessed to have come across your site and look forward to so many more entertaining moments reading here. Thanks a lot once more for all the details.

  • website says:

    You completed a few nice points there. I did a search on the theme and found nearly all persons will consent with your blog.

  • Great tremendous things here. I’m very glad to look your article. Thank you so much and i am taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  • click here says:

    I have been reading out many of your stories and i can state clever stuff. I will definitely bookmark your site.

  • Read This says:

    Hi there, I found your site via Google at the same time as looking for a similar subject, your site came up, it appears great. I have bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

  • visit here says:

    Good article and right to the point. I don’t know if this is really the best place to ask but do you folks have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thanks in advance 🙂

  • Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include almost all important infos. I would like to look more posts like this .

  • Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

  • website says:

    Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Actually Great. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.

  • Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful

  • Website says:

    Thank you for any other wonderful post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am at the look for such info.

  • Read This says:

    I as well as my guys were actually digesting the good ideas from your web site then at once I had a terrible feeling I never expressed respect to you for those secrets. The men ended up for that reason warmed to read them and have really been enjoying them. Appreciation for actually being quite kind as well as for making a decision on certain amazing subject matter most people are really wanting to be informed on. My sincere regret for not expressing gratitude to you earlier.

  • Homepage says:

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your website offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be thankful to you.

  • Click Here says:

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  • Read This says:

    As a Newbie, I am permanently searching online for articles that can be of assistance to me. Thank you

Leave a Reply