The Greenhouse Blog

Writers and Disability closed forum statement

Written by Jax Jacki Brown write-ability-ewf15

(Write-ability Salon-Emerging Writers Festival)

I would like to begin by acknowledging the Traditional Owners of the land we meet on tonight and pay my respects to their elders past and present

I would also like to acknowledge the work of First Peoples Disability Network Australia (FPDN)


(FPDN group photo from

FPDN advocate for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who have a disability. I also want to acknowledge that indigionality and disability often intersect with ABS statistics suggesting that 50 percent of indigenous people have a disability.

1 in 5 people in Australia have a disability, its 2 in 5 if you include carers or family members.

What would that expand to if we included lovers, friends and allies?

We are all only temporarily able-bodied, we will all age and our bodies and minds will change in our life times.

I want to invite you to think about disability anew, to ponder disability as resulting ‘from the interaction between a persons impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers, these  barriers hinder our full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others’ (UN General Assembly 2007) or as Stella Young put it ‘‘I am not wrong for the world I live in, the world I live in is not yet right for people with disability, and we need to change it!’’

People with disability are one of the most marginalized groups in society 45% of people with disability live on or below the poverty line (Human Rights Watch report, 2015).

We are subject to disadvantages in the key areas of employment, education, transport, housing, rates of violence and abuse and access to the health system.

Some quick stats
Employment – half that of people without disability
Education – only 24% have completed VCE
Housing – 2x’s more pwd’s live in public housing, age-care or inappropriate accom, more likely to be homeless
Transport – 1.2 million people with disability reported difficulties accessing transport
(Source: Disability and health inequalities in Australia, Vic Health 2012)

Women with disabilities are assaulted, raped and abused at a rate at least two times greater than that of women who do not have a disability. 90% women with an intellectual disability have been subjected to sexual abuse.  More than two-thirds  (68%) have been sexually abused by the age of 18 (Voices against Violence Report, 2014)

So what does this have to do with writing? It means that we want have to equal and paid access to the writing world.

We want to change and challenge perceptions of who we are as people with disability – we are not objects of inspiration or tragedy – we are complex and whole individuals leading full and rich and messy lives.

We want to break down these stereotypes, these meta narratives of disability by having our writing published in the mainstream.

We want to read and write stories of disability pride, of sexuality, of parenting, of teenage angst, of falling in and out of love, of the intersections of identities- of being queer and disabled, of being indigenous and disabled or the pletha of other identities one can have- we want to proclaim the the disabled body as desirable, to read and write stories which show disability as a valuable part of a person not something to be afraid or ashamed of.

Such misconceptions can only be broken down if we are published, and published wildly and in accessible formats so that people with a variety of disabilities can have access to and enjoy text.

Like any minority we want to tell our stories ourselves, because this is where empowerment and societal change happens, we are tired of others writing about us. Its time to get our voices out there.

If we happen to be written about by others who don’t live the experience of disability we want to be consulted in the same way that the Indigenous community is consulted about how to address Indigenous stories and issues

Nothing about us, without us.

We want writers with disability to be included in the programs of festivals and events as a mater of course. We want mentorship by and for writers with disability, funding for writers with disability, paid positions within key literary organisations.

We want to get rid of the barriers people with disability face, we want accessible buildings and accessible stages so we can share our work on the sage with others, equally, proudly and boldly.

I don’t want to see disability continue to be included as an afterthought, as a box to occasionally tick but instead as a key and valuable part of the human experience and as in important minority which deserves to take up space and tell our stories for ourselves.


Women in Writing Manifesto: one year on

At the Women in Writing session on 30 May 2014 a manifesto was created. It had eight key points focusing on the challenges faced by women in the industry, and concrete ways that action could take place to better support, promote or highlight their work.

What became clear after the #EWF14 Women in Writing round table was that many of the calls to action needed a framework within which to happen. Who would conduct the surveys we suggested? Where could we have resources hosted so that we could share information? The existing organisations and initiatives operating within this space are already under-resourced and stretched in their scope. At first individuals started chipping away where they could. We hosted events in partnership with The Wheeler Centre. We wrote op-eds. Other writers started their own initiatives.

Some wonderful things happened, but it soon became apparent that there was no one entity looking at the overarching and interrelating issues facing women. So we’re starting one. I’m proud to announce the formation of Women in Literary Arts Australia (WILAA).

WILAA aims to foster community and promote women in the literary arts. We want to be a hub of information for women writers. To draw attention to the opportunities that exist for them, and to advocate for their needs where those needs are not being met.

To begin, we’re taking a survey of women writers to ask about their experiences. We have committed to one big project for 2015: to undertake a count of women at literary festivals around Australia. We know women are underrepresented in the media, but what about on stage? We hope to grow beyond this, though. And we’d love to hear from you if you have ideas on what we should tackle next. Take our survey, send us an email, leave us a comment. We look forward to hearing from you.

In the meantime, one year on from the round table, what has changed? Here is an update on how things have changed, how they remain the same in 2015, and what we hope the next year will bring.

Before we talk about how women should pitch more, negotiate pay better and advocate for themselves, we should recognize that if women fail to do these things as freely and readily as men, it is because they are conditioned to do so. Overcoming this lifetime of socialisation takes knowledge and empowerment. Women should be empowered to talk about what they are being paid. We want to see practical guides and advice for women on how be assertive, how to negotiate and advocate for their work. It’s time we figured out how to empower women with these skills in practical ways.  We want them given all the tools they need to know what others are paid, what a fair rate for their work is, to negotiate for better rates and conditions. We love the recently launched Pitch, Bitch initiative. It’s practical and supportive, and we thank Estelle Tang for making it happen.

This year an entire day of #EWF15 has been dedicated to workshops, panels and performances empowering women with practical knowledge. There’s also a full day for high school aged women, too. Having a space for women to discuss and learn from other women regarding the unique challenges they face is invaluable.

We need to arm women with information. Transparency is vital. Are female authors offered lower advances than men? If publishing houses won’t tell us, we want an anonymous survey that authors can answer to help us find the truth. And are freelancing women offered lower per word rates than men at the same publication? We want to analyse some of the data from the ‘pay the writers’ campaign and find out. And if this data shows that women are indeed paid less, we want publishers and publications to answer to that information.

This is one area where we have no more information than we did this time last year. It’s vital for women to know if the national wage gap average of 17.1% is reflected in literature. In the following year we will start to formulate ideas on how we can ascertain this.

If women are counted on the page, they should be counted in public, too. The VIDA and B&P/Stella Counts unveiled the statistics showing women get a raw deal in literature. We want to see a count of public literary events broken down by gender. Too many writers’ festivals have women relegated to the women’s topics and women’s panels. It’s time to hold programmers and event managers to account for the amount of women they place in key platforms in their events. We challenge festivals and cultural institutions to do their own counts, and if they won’t do them and consider these issues, we’ll do it for them.

In 2015 WILAA will undertake a survey of literary events. We invite festivals and literary events from all over Australia to get in touch with WILAA to ask how they can be included in the count.

As well as counting these stats, we want to hold those in positions of power accountable for them. We will challenge them to respond to the statistics of the Stella Count and the Festivals Count. We want them to participate in this dialogue and speak to the industry about what they are doing to redress gender imbalances.

It is our aim to directly engage with editors, programmers, publishers and the industry as a whole in 2015. WILAA will invite those in positions of power to engage in a dialogue about the state of affairs for women internally within their organisations, and lobby for better working conditions including representation and pay.

We want to see mentorships for women where skill-sharing and career advice can be enabled. We want to see further training that breaks through the barriers women face in reaching the top levels of industry. More importantly, we challenge those in positions of power to start a dialogue about and with women in their organisations. What do they need? How can you support them?

In 2015 WILAA will search for funding and program partners for a mentorship program. We see this as a key way for women at all stages of their careers to skill share and network.

We challenge the accepted concept that boys won’t read girl protagonists, or than men won’t read stories with women protagonists. Many books prove this concept wrong, and teachers and parents repeat it like it is law. Why won’t they? What can be done about it? Is it even true? If women are 50% of the world, it’s natural for them to be 50% of the characters in books, and to lead those stories. Girls read books featuring boys all the time, and boys, when given the opportunity, are just as adoring of characters like Katniss as girls are. Education is vital from an early age. We want to see better support for initiatives like the Stella education program, which goes into schools and talks about boys books vs girls books, what they are and why the delineation is irrelevant. And we want to delve into the Australian high school texts lists to see how women fare in those lists? Are there great female authors and great female characters for young readers to explore?

Since the roundtable in 2014 the extended Stella Schools Program has been released. It is an exciting initiative which addresses all of the issues discussed in this point. There is a resource kit, school visits, teaching notes and professional development for librarians and teachers. It has been accompanied by events at many key festivals around Australia talking about these issues and engaging with parents, librarians, booksellers, teachers and young readers.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what do the covers of books by female authors say? We’re tired of seeing headless female torsos, giant lips, half faces, windswept hair and longing gazes into middle distance. Who comes up with these marketing rules that say green don’t sell, or female authors must use covers that highlight their gender and alienate half the population? We will create a visual display of the covers of books by women released in the last year and bask in the hot pink, the pastel tones, the beheaded women. What will it look like when we are confronted with this? We don’t know, but we look forward to finding out. And when we do, we’ll be awarding a literary version of a razzie to the worst cover offenders.

December 2014 saw Cover Girls Uncovered take centre stage at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. This was an excellent start to the conversation. You can watch the video here.

Women are not a homogenous group. We will not be treated like one. Within our community there are women of colour, women from refugee and migrant backgrounds, queer women, indigenous women, people who reject gender as a socially created construct that is of no consequence at all. All women’s stories matter, and they matter to everyone regardless of gender. We’re here, and we won’t be erased or silenced or ignored.

WILAA hopes to represent the interests of women in literature, while remaining aware that the needs of our community are as wide-ranging as our members.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Closed Forum Manifesto

On 3 June, 2015 the EWF was fortunate to bring together a group of passionate emerging and established Aboriginal writers and representatives from a number of key organisations who work with Indigenous writers. In the forum, over two hours, the group discussed a range of key topics and concerns, and these have been brought together in an EWF Manifesto.

The aim of the Manifesto is to inform and improve processes around how to better engage with and support emerging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers and how the EWF and other organisations within the Wheeler Centre can enhance their programming of Indigenous writers in the future.



-          The experiences of Indigenous men and women can be different – writing can be a gendered experience.

-          Women can have a lived experience of trauma – an intergenerational “journey”.

-          How do Indigenous women construct and document their stories?


-          Collaborations

-          What are the protocols on how to document stories e.g. who owns a story? When an Indigenous person who is not a writer has an amazing life story and collaborates with a non-indigenous writer to tell the story, who owns the writing? By law, ownership reverts to the writer. So how do Aboriginal people retain authorship of their story when in collaboration with non-Indigenous artists? There is the potential to mark lived experience on works as a “story witness” – but is that enough?

-          Collaborations also impact on areas such as royalties.

-          This is too big an issue to solve in this forum so how do we put it on the table?

-          ACTION: How do we provide information to Aboriginal writers and communities regarding their rights regarding sharing and telling of stories, and make information on intellectual and property rights available so that Aboriginal people are informed? This could be through fact sheets, workshops etc – explore the options.



-          Writers want the opportunity to meet with other writers to work on their own stories and to develop new stories collaboratively.

-          Are there currently Indigenous writing group writers can access? There is an Indigenous writers group at Victoria University, which meets fortnightly. Participants write together, critique work – in this instance, facilitated by a non-Indigenous mentor. This could be replicated in other workplaces, for instance.

-          With a writing group, there is a need to determine the agenda together as to what the group wants to achieve.

-          One alternative is for a group to be set up online e.g. Facebook, which would also make explicit the resources available for Indigenous writers – a centralised body. Social media is a quick and easy way to reach the community – put the word out to Indigenous writers.

-          Alternatively, a physical writing institution that would be a safe space for writers. Venues can be very problematic – can be very intimating. SLQ has made sure there is an Indigenous person on the front desk, and that signage is welcoming.

-          Writers groups could include professional development opportunities for writing in different genres – or this could take place within a festival. NB South Australia has an Indigenous writers’ group that provides workshops and a skills transfer.

-          There could be guest facilitators or readings by experienced writers that would get people to attend. The space needs to be accessible.

-          Celebrities and champions have star power/ can be a draw card to attract young emerging writers to workshops/events such as Festivals

ACTION: Explore the setting up of Indigenous writing groups. Explore existing models and network with already existing Indigenous writing groups. Explore physical locations where a group/groups could meet. Share information that would help other people set up their own writing groups.



-          Mentorship can develop a mentees confidence. Mentorships can be a two way process, with both gaining.

-          Organisations need to follow the best practice of FCAC as it takes long-term investment to get community support. For example it took 5 years to build community support that lead to an Elders in Residence program.

-          ACTION: Identify established Indigenous writers who are interested in mentoring.


        Rural/outer suburban writers

-          There is a need to create sustained engagement with Indigenous writers who are not living in the city. There are stories that aren’t being told that communities should be making/creating. The opportunities need to be provided – the effect of this dispels myths about Indigenous people to a wider audience.



-          The funding needed to facilitate these opportunities will be affected by changes to Australia Council funding. Organisations within the Wheeler Centre need to continue to lobby the government about this.

-          Writers orgs just put up grants and competitions etc and don’t advertise and promote within the Aboriginal community then expect that diversity ‘just happens’. We want more than just funding, we want to build long term relationships.

-          There needs to be more assistance in the application process for arts funding – if this does not happen, diversity in who art practitioners are will not change.

-          ACTION: Share with forum information on the First Nations Australia Writers’ Network Conference in August and information on Creative Victoria grants to pay for travel/ registration for FNAWN.


Barriers to organisations within the Wheeler Centre

-          Provide opportunities for Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers/editors/ publishers to network.

-          Although it is a national organisation, where is the Victorian equivalent of Black+Write to create writing communities?

-          Venues can be inaccessible e.g. the CBD location may be a deterrent for Indigenous people in outer suburbs to attend their events.

-          Welcoming/ signage is important. There is a need to create culturally safe spaces.

-          Footscray Community Arts Centre (FCAC) is an example of achieving Indigenous engagement. It took five years to make Indigenous groups feel welcome. Organisations need to be committed, as success will be incremental.

-          ACTION: Look at ways to build sustainable relationships with Indigenous writers using the Victorian Indigenous Literature Officer position to create a hub at the Wheeler Centre. Look at ways to make the Wheeler Centre venue culturally safer. Potential to create a bookshelf in an organisation such as The Wheeler Centre which share books by Indigenous writers.



-          Accessibility of getting published – You write and write but then you think, who’s going to publish me. How do I even begin to speak to a publishing house?

-          Sweatshop model from Western Sydney. Provides professional development guidance, workshopping, a way of coming together.

-          There are opportunities too with self-publishing/online. It would be wonderful if there were more digital avenues for young Indigenous writers to get their writing visible and to let young people know about these.

-          Centre for Indigenous Story is a new online avenue for sharing stories and is looking for content.

-          Likewise in theatre nearly 100% of dramaturgs are white and then wonderful black voices are shepherded into white dramaturgy frameworks. How to break these paradigms?

-          Build more pathways for Indigenous editors, publishers, front cover designers, etc. We need to address the lack of Indigenous people working in the publishing industry. State Library of Queensland Black & Write is a good model.

-          What other opportunities are there for writers? Artists in schools program seeks writers.

-          ACTION: Share information regarding online opportunities. Create factsheet/guidelines for the publishing industry on how to edit Indigenous writers. Provide support on how to contact publishing house/ how to pitching etc. Playwriting Australia to look at developing Indigenous dramaturgy processes.



-          How do you develop audiences/readership? Is reading a lost art form?

-          How do you create a hype around people when new writing comes out? One way is to make a deliberate choice to buy black writers to give as gifts.

-          Aboriginal readers need to read voices and hear and see authors and protagonists that they can relate to. Reading black voices and writers is an act of decolonisation.

-          Also need to build more Indigenous reviewers who review both Indigenous and non indigenous theatre/ writing/ film/ art.

-          Famous Indigenous people could promote books by Indigenous writers to the general public a la Ophrah’s book club.

-          Overall the forum felt it was important that we talk about these issues and attempt to achieve new outcomes rather than waiting to get it 100% right.

-          ACTION: To bring together Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander writer to discuss these issues on a regular basis and to measure the progress of our ACTIONs.

Five Gems that Might Just Save your Arse

I’ve spent most of today in the Freelancing for Life Masterclass, an event that’s part of the Emerging Writers’ Festival (which finishes up TOMORROW – can you believe it?!). The day presented a series of panels offering advice from editors, … Continue reading Continue reading

Early Words – How Art Tells Stories photos

Translation Nation photos

Wrap up – zine panel

During this year’s festival, the young writers of the Signal Express will be recapping a variety of events so you can catch up (or refresh). Find more of their writing here.

By Olivia Hurley

Featuring four experienced zine creators, the National Writers’ Conference’s zine panel celebrated many of the uniquely fulfilling and gratifying aspects of this form of publication. Anna Poletti, Cameron Baker, Oslo Davis, and Alexandra Duguid discussed the merits of zines, zine culture, the communities that stem from them, and the production and distribution of the zines themselves.

Each of the panellists had fairly idiosyncratic perspectives on why zines are important and what they mean on a personal level. Cameron describes zines as essentially being quiet ways humans can try to share something good. He appreciates the way they leave room for simplicity and sincerity to translate into something physical. Alexandra was told early on that her unbridled enthusiasm and excitement for the things she loves got in the way of her writing, so she uses her zines as a way to channel these intense feelings that threaten to make her chest explode and to find people who might just get where she’s coming from. Zines create a space where she doesn’t have to play it cool, as she feels like they have no bounds. For Oslo, his zines began as a way to free the jokes, sketches, and observations that were trapped inside his notebooks. By creating zines he taught himself to share his sense of humour and learnt about publishing. Anna (who actually wrote her PhD about zines) says zines are about freedom, energy, making space, and connecting with an audience. She can see the way zines are a wonderful way of making people feel special.

The panellists mused (prompted by questions from the audience) about what enables the zine to transcend the evolution from print-publications to online. What seems to keep zines popular is the fact that they are so personal and intimate, plus they have that fleeting and unabridged quality, which inevitably makes the reader feel special and involved in something important. A zine is a tangible thing, which can be kept, treasured, lost, found, torn or annotated, and this gives them their almost whimsical sensibility.

In terms of actually putting together a zine, it was suggested that there is no concrete process as zines are so individual. Some use Photoshop, PowerPoint, InDesign, Word, or nothing more than a pen and paper to create the master copy. Oslo admits that the covers are usually the best part of zines, and Alexandra speaks from past experience when she suggests you shouldn’t leave the photocopying to the last minute.

Finally, when discussing the feedback/opportunities that can come from zines, it was apparent that all four of the panellists had experienced some kind of public connection as a result of creating zines. Possibly in the form of subscribers, submissions, appreciative emails, project proposals, or simply somebody telling you they enjoyed it.  If you put a bit of yourself into the world, chances are someone is going to take notice. People must be noticing, just look at the way the Sticky Institute is bursting at the seams.

Wrap up – 5×5 Rules of Writing

During this year’s festival, the young writers of the Signal Express will be recapping a variety of events so you can catch up (or refresh). Find more of their writing here.

By Olivia Hurley

Bursting with creative energy and genuine adoration of the written word, The National Writers’ Conference’s ‘5×5 Rules for Writing’ was an extremely encouraging start to the conference. Featuring five of The Emerging Writers Festival’s ambassadors, 5×5 equipped the audience with 25 tips directed to aid in their lives as writers.

Kylie Ladd urged us to be forensic in our reading by asking why these words work/don’t work; firmly ruled that every aspiring writer must unearth Zadie Smith’s essay ‘That Crafty Feeling’ (if its descriptions put you off writing then you weren’t meant to be a writer anyway); suggested that it’s best to stay calm in the face of doubt and worry; reassured us of the evils of Sales and Marketing departments; and dead-panned that getting published is honestly a bit of an anti-climax.

Oslo Davis introduced us to the metaphor of the diarrhoea duck and blatantly thwarted the notion of natural born geniuses. By suggesting that a writer should envision the perfect outcome of every project, not enter awards, and certainly not read reviews of their work, Oslo presented a very candid picture of the writing world, which included a sense that while you will encounter negativity and frustration, you won’t need to let either of those things bother you in the long run.

Sulari Gentill then gifted the audience with a reassuring speech that lovingly celebrated the art of storytelling. She began by pledging that there aren’t really any rules for writing, and if your writing is good then nobody is going to notice how many adverbs you used anyway. Don’t be disillusioned by the idea that you need to first have an epiphany in order to start writing, build a community around you that understands, trust your reader, and learn to love the actual artistry of the writing process.

Anna Poletti’s major instruction was to stay at the desk until you earn the right to leave it, and then return again. If this sitting at the desk consists primarily of staring at a blinking cursor until it makes you feel sick; pick up a pen or switch to some other kind of medium. When you can’t find motivation believe that if you don’t write this piece then no one else will, and visualise a specific person in your head who you’re writing for.  Make sure that you break up these disciplined periods of writing with some form of physical exercise, as you need to let the piece drift backwards inside your brain for a bit.

Finally, William McInnes wasted no time in getting to the point with a simple yet effective set of rules that you could methodically count out on your fingers: back up; don’t ever trust spellcheck; remember that writers are bullshit artists so be careful what advice you take from them; and don’t kid yourself into thinking that an idea is original. William rounded off his rules by stating that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously, but you should take what you do seriously.

Wrap up – Translation Nation

During this year’s festival, the young writers of the Signal Express will be recapping a variety of events so you can catch up (or refresh). Find more of their writing here.

By Andrea Sidler

Wednesday night’s session, “Translation Nation” featured five translators, five languages, Gabriel Garcia Ochoa (presenting), Liam Pieper and his essay ‘The Unbearable Whiteness of Being’.

The evening began with the five translators – Bin Xue, Daniela Scarcella, Emily Durbin, Cecilia Liando and Paula Aparicio – each reading chunks of Piepers essay which they had translated into Mandarin, Italian, Japanese, Indonesian and Spanish (respectively).

Heavy doses of racism, colloquial Australian profanity and typically Australian concepts feature throughout Pieper’s essay, which is part of his Penguin special Mistakes Were Made.

As the translators spoke I being to wonder at the challenges of translating such unique linguistic concepts while somehow managing to retain the humour and meaning of the original piece. Tone, sentence structure, rhythm, humour, slang, formality, speed, intent versus meaning and personal philosophy all enter the discussion. The link between culture and language became obvious as each of the translators spoke about the challenges they encountered, particularly in Japanese, Chinese and Indonesian. The values of politeness versus profanity, intent versus technicality in each of the languages became problematic in translation. 

Pieper’s writing jumps between registers of politeness and formality, flicking from colloquial and slangy to serious and profound in the space of a sentence. This makes his writing engaging to read in English, but in Japanese, were the levels of politeness are more structured, his intent is difficult to convey. Emily Durbin found it nearly impossible to navigate between the irony, dick jokes and serious notes while keeping the tone consistent and sustaining the authenticity of the author. Swearing and humour is embedded differently into the Japanese culture and the vast differences between both cultures and languages made translation difficult.

Bin Xue also found conveying cultural meaning was more difficult than applying a literal translation. Part of Pieper’s essay alludes to the possibility of his convict background; he implies a subtle sense of pride at the prospect of a criminal ancestry, a typically and uniquely Australian feeling. This forced Xue to not only translate an Australian sentence, but a uniquely Australian feeling and in the process cross cultural and linguistic boundaries. He focusses on keeping the tone of the language consistent and structuring his sentences in such a way as to allow humorous aspects to have full impact, emphasising meaning to create a translation which would make sense to a Mandarin-speaker. 

Liando struggled particularly with the prevalent irony in her section of the piece, as irony is doesn’t really exist in the Indonesian language. She had to instead embellish her translations with colloquial Indonesian, slang and literal translations, perhaps losing some of the meaning on the way.

Daniela Scarcella and Paula Aparicio struggled less with the profanity and cultural gap but concerned themselves with maintaining the rhythm, flow, speed and the beauty of the language conventions in their translations.

Pieper expressed his concerns with reading texts in translation as he is always left wondering what has been lost. The original meaning and intent of the author risks being smudged over in the process as of course, the core meaning of a literary piece and the authors’ intent is open to interpretation. With translation does come that risk. The combination of each individual translator’s choice of phrasing and their interpretation of the meaning create loop-holes in translation and grant the translator a creative licence as well as a responsibility to the original work.

Gabriel Garcia Ochoa quotes his mother later in the night saying “translation is like housework, you only notice it when it is not done properly”, and perhaps that is true, but if nothing else “Translation Nation” proved that proper translation is no quick Google search, but an art in itself.

Wrap up – Screenwriting Workshop for Under 25s

During this year’s festival, the young writers of the Signal Express will be recapping a variety of events so you can catch up (or refresh). Find more of their writing here.

By Carly Stone

Film buffs and aspiring producers alike would be familiar with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image – in the nerve-centre of Melbourne, ACMI’s wide-ranging collection of courses and exhibitions have allowed the centre to establish its presence as an iconic cultural. The centre’s free-to-attend Screen Worlds course provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity for aspiring screenwriters and producers to share their ideas. By equipping attendants with essential abilities, the intensive, all-day program provides a unique platform for emerging writers to connect with one another, spitball ideas, and develop their creative voice. Author and editor Ronnie Scott fosters an accessible and open-minded environment to engage the group’s talents, marrying the creativity of attending students with the necessary structure of writing for the screen and helps to open the door to ‘real-world screenwriting.’

Through analysing the fine-tunings of pitching scripts, and all the factors that compose a ‘good story,’ Scott establishes all the general principles necessary to gather an audience. The primary components of an engaging pitch are incredibly simple: at its core, a pitch should establish the setting and be a direct invitation for the audience into the story. Further delving into the skills necessary to introduce a screenplay, Scott introduces us to a variety of pitch formats, allowing students to flex their creativity through developing clear and concise introductions to their stories.

Demonstrated by a variety of admirably conducted short films, we flesh out the skeletons of well-written screenplays to discover details common to every brilliant storyboard. Giving us insight to the inner-workings of the writer’s room, and providing students with an opportunity to collaborate and create stories in a team, producing a quality screenplay becomes more achievable than one could anticipate.

Establishing characters through effective characterisation and authentic dialogue proves to be a fascinating process. Characters crafted with both believability and complexity work to support the most engaging scripts, and Scott demonstrates just how to conduct this creative process.

Through essential advice and development of core abilities, Ronnie Scott cultivates an open and captivating environment, making quality screenwriting an achievable goal. ACMI’s Screen Worlds course was a high point of the EWF, accessible to experienced writers and aspiring film producers alike.

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