Upcoming festival events

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  • The National Writers’ Conference 2015

    Sat 30 May, 9:00 AM

    The centrepiece of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the National Writers’ Conference is the place to be for emerging writers hungry to hear from leaders in the field, develop their skills, and meet other excited word-nerds. Two days at Town Hall is a great way to spend a weekend, and this year’s timetable is packed.


    Get up close and personal with our festival ambassadors and special guests. Ask them the big questions, the little questions, the good questions. Now’s your chance!

    Saturday 11am – William McInnes

    Saturday 12pm – Anna Poletti

    Saturday 2pm – Kylie Ladd

    Saturday 3pm – Sulari Gentill

    Sunday 12pm – Oslo Davis

    Sunday 2pm – Ni Made Purnama Sari, Aan Mansyur in Conversation with Deryn Mansell

    Sunday 3pm – Working in the Arts: In Conversation with Joe Toohey and Justine Hyde



    Park yourself in the spectacular Swanston Hall and hear the emerging and emerged tackle contemporary writing issues.

    Saturday 11am
    Is the freelance lifestyle all mid-morning coffee dates and endless free time, or is the reality more 2 Minute Noodles and chasing invoices? Four writers with a knack for freelance talk about what it looks like to work unconventionally, and how to make it work for you. Featuring Sam Cooney, Gillian Terzis, Ellena Savage and Connor Tomas O’Brien.

    Saturday 12pm
    Why do we like what we like, and should we even care? Why do we dissect things, and what value is there in examining the merits of the latest band, book, or show? Hear some of the newest and best voices in criticism chat about how they approach reviewing work, be it a book, film, stage show or everyone’s favourite: music. Featuring Chad Parkhill, Jane Howard, James Tierney and Rebecca Harkins-Cross.

    Saturday 2pm
    Cut, paste, print, draw, photocopy, staple: zines are an enduring art form in the age of
    the digital. What makes the zinesters tick? What makes a good zine, and what do you
    need to start? Hear from some creators with a range of different projects on where they
    got their start and just what it is about the call of the stapler that keeps them coming back.
    Featuring Cameron Baker, Anna Poletti, Oslo Davis, and Alexandra Duguid.

    Saturday 3pm
    Emerging is not a synonym for ‘young’, but these writers definitely fall into both
    categories. What they lack in age they make up for with talent, already having published
    debut novels. What’s the trick to moving so fast? Pick the brains of Oliver Mol, Eli Glasman and Eliza Henry-Jones.

    Sunday 10am
    While many of us have been saying we ‘want to be writers when we grow up’ our
    entire lives, others have had some less than conventional journeys to the written word.
    From boxing to ghostwriting, come along and hear the stories of these writers whose
    work and lives have taken some colourful turns. With Trent Kusters, Mischa Merz, and Adeline Teoh. Hosted by Geoff Orton.

    Sunday 11am
    Having a conversation with a stranger can be daunting at the best of times, let alone if
    you’re grilling them about their work. What’s the best way to talk to someone about their
    work, and how hard should you push? Get some tips from experts Emily Laidlaw,
    Madeleine Dore, Neha Kale and Veronica Sullivan.

    Sunday 12pm
    It’s the dream, isn’t it? To have your novel published and feel like a ‘real writer’. While the ways we read and write are constantly evolving, for many writers it’s still the ultimate goal. We chat to some writers about their journey to the finished piece, about living the novel dream and what the future may have in store for novelists.Featuring William McInnesKylie Ladd, Sulari Gentill. Hosted by Alice Robinson.

    Sunday 3pm
    The television machine is always rumbling, and it can be easy to forget that each program has a team behind it. Who are the writers behind the TV shows we love, and how did they get there? Is writing for TV really like the 30 Rock writers’ room? These writers chat about their careers and what it’s like to see your words spoken on the little screen. Featuring Lawrence Leung, Fiona Harris, and John Richards.

    Sunday 4pm
    Over the weekend EWF staff will be going around to find four audience members most keen to get up on stage and share what they write and what they’re going to go home and  write after a weekend of inspiring conversation.



    Join the intimate atmosphere in the Yarra Room and add your voice to the discussions about these writing forms.


    Saturday 11am
    While writing your first novel feels like pulling teeth, song writing’s effortless end product sometimes makes us think the process is all strumming guitars, staring out a window at
    beautiful scenery. Pick the brains of these talented music makers and see if song writing is as romantic as it seems. Featuring Gena Rose Bruce, Adam Curley and Evelyn Morris.

    Saturday 12pm
    From Broad City to Taylor Swift, these guys know what’s worth knowing in the pop culture world. But what even is pop culture – and why should we write about it? Across the web and print, these writers promote the cause of pop. Featuring Mel Campbell,Sinead  Stubbins and Meg Watson.

    Saturday 2pm
    It seems like you can’t go a day without seeing a Facebook friend post their snaps from their latest trip – everyone’s always globetrotting without you. Past the photos and past the check-ins, how do we write about travel and how should we? Featuring Lorna Hendry, Ali MC and Torre De Roche.

    Saturday 3pm
    Some people are romance junkies, others like to be immersed in the world of sci-fi. Some of us dip our toes into a plethora of genres all at once – good writing is good writing, right? Come along to see the genre worlds collide as we chat romance, sci-fi and all things genre. Featuring Karys McEwen, Liam Jose and Elizabeth Beaton.

    Sunday 11am
    What protocols should we follow when writing the other? How can we educate ourselves on language that is inclusive and how do we avoid language and terms that are offensive and damaging? Featuring Fotis Kapetopoulos, Bhakthi Puvanenthiran, and Jessica Yu.

    Sunday 12pm
    Writing can be isolating even in the biggest city. How do you stay connected when you’re physically isolated too? These writers might not be from the big smoke, but they’re on fire. Join their conversation on how living rural can influence your work. Featuring Erin Handley, Joe Toohey and Honey Brown.

    Sunday 2pm
    Reading and writing is changing, with more works online than ever before. Are bloggers really the pioneers of online publishing? What are the advantages of publishing your own work and how can you form a successful and enduring platform? Featuring Sam van Zweeden, Michelle McLaren and Meghan Brewster.

    Sunday 3pm
    What we talk about when we talk about talking. In the solitary world of writing it’s
    nice to hear a voice that’s not on the page, especially if they’re talking about your
    favourite book. From the funny to the surreal, these podcasters live in your headphones and help your quiet afternoons. Bring the chat, IRL. Featuring Rebecca Shaw, Peter Taggart and Ben McKenzie.

    Melbourne Town Hall Weekend Pass: Full $90 / Concession $75
  • #selfies

    Sat 30 May, 7:30 PM

    What does a picture of yourself say about… yourself? Find out as we challenge eight writers to bare all, pictorially – narrating their inner-selves with a series of selfies. Come hear autobiographical tales in a visually stimulating environment! Bring your iPhone/camera/mirror.

    Featuring Ellena Savage, Liam Pieper, Jackson Eaton, Toby Fehily, Minna Gilligan, Sophie Allan and Natasha Theoharous.

    Presented in partnership with SPOOK Magazine

    Schoolhouse Studios $17 full/$15 concession
  • Translation Nation

    Wed 27 May, 7:30 PM

    Marvel at the mysteries of language, meaning and literary tradition, as five of Australia’s most exciting emerging translators perform parts of one whole story in Mandarin, Indonesian, Spanish, Italian and Japanese. This live translation will be followed by a panel discussion, illuminating the challenges and rewards of reshaping a writer’s work across language barriers, exploring the creative act of translation and demystifing this essential part of the writing world. Featuring Liam Pieper, Paula Aparicio, Cecilia Liando, Daniela Scarcella, Bin Xue, Gabriel Garcia Ochoa and Emily Durbin.

    Proudly presented by Monash University Faculty of Arts

    Bella Union, Trades Hall $17 full/$15 concession
  • Words Out West – Alice In Downunderland

    Thu 28 May, 6:00 PM

    Alice In Downunderland: Join us as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s delightful Alice in Wonderland with readings, performance, and a glimpse or two Through the Looking Glass.

    Featuring Lia Incognita, Stephanie van Schilt, Leni Shilton and Rachel Perks.


    Jump on a tram, train, or grab your bike- whatever you have to do, just get yourself to Footscray for a literary tour of the west. Take our hands and let us lead you through the creative west, hitting cultural hotspots and cool hidden gems for a night of words that inspire.

    Words Out West is presented by Victoria University in association with Emerging Writers’ Festival, Footscray Community Arts Centre, and the City of Maribyrnong.

    Dancing Dog FREE (no bookings required)

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