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The F Team

2021 - Shortlisted


Rawah Arja’s debut YA novel, The F Team, nails the bravado – and fragility – of Tariq and his ‘wolfpack’ of friends from Punchbowl Boys High, Lebanese-Australian adolescents growing up in Sydney’s south-western suburbs. Tariq understands very well the stereotypes that trap and limit him, but he too is full of prejudice, quick to anger and not exactly diplomatic. And if Tariq doesn’t have enough issues at school, he is certain his family would win any craziest family competition.

When the wolfpack is forced to form the F Team and play rugby league alongside four boys from the distinctly non-Muslim Shire, and Tariq is made co-captain with the Jewish Aaron, questions of friendship, trust and loyalty move to a new level. It’s on Tariq’s shoulders to win the comp, save Punchbowl Boys and win respect all around. Then there’s Jamila, supremely attractive, self-assured and not about to take any of his bullshit.

About the author

Rawah Arja

Rawah Arja

Rawah Arja is a writer and teacher from Western Sydney. Her first novel The F Team (published by Giramondo in 2020) has been shortlisted for numerous literary awards including the Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature and the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Writing for Young Adults. Her writing has featured in Second City: Essays From Western Sydney (2021), Arab, Australian, Other (2019), SBS Voices and at the Sydney Writer’s Festival. She has received a fellowship from WestWords Varuna Emerging Writers’ Residential Program, is a member of the Finishing School collective of women writers, and teaches creative writing at schools and workshops.