The Pen Is Mightier…

How much power lies in the pen? How much can the written word teach us, challenge us and free us?

Join us for this unique panel event where our authors address the three themes of…
The Pen is Mightier Than the Gun – Yuot A. Alaak
The Pen is Mightier Than the Disability – Rebecca Laffar-Smith
The Pen is Mightier Than Discrimination – Rashida Murphy

About the presenters…

Yuot A. Alaak
Yuot is an emerging Western Australian writer whose short story ‘The Lost Girl of Pajomba’ was anthologised by Margaret River Press in Ways of Being Here. He has appeared twice at the Perth Writers Festival and his critically acclaimed memoir, Father of the Lost Boys, was shortlisted for the 2018 City of Fremantle Hungerford Award, the 2020 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, 2021 NSW Premiers Literary Awards, and was published by Fremantle Press in 2020. Yuot is a former child refugee from South Sudan and was part of the globally known Lost Boys of Sudan. Yuot is a staunch advocate of the ‘power of the pen’ and a 2021 Australian of the Year nominee. One of his favourite quotes is by Martin Luther King Jr: “The function of education (the pen) is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

Rebecca Laffar-Smith
Rebecca is a young adult science fiction and fantasy author that uses lived experience to write about mental health, neurodivergence, and disability. Her books and talks inspire people to experience possibility and discover wonder. Check out her TEDx Talk! In her address, Rebecca shares the power of representation, why it’s important to include disability and neurodivergence in fiction, and how her lived experience shapes so much of her writing, her characters, and the stories she wants writers to tell.

Dr Rashida Murphy
Rashida tries to live consciously on stolen land. She is the author of The Historian’s Daughter and The Bonesetter’s Fee. She is currently working on narrative non-fiction essays and a recalcitrant novel. Rashida knows the pen to be mightier than discrimination because her personal history is linked to the history of empire and racism. She will push back for herself and those who come after her.