The Emerging Writer —

Monash Prize Alumni: Tully Hansen

The Monash Prize for Undergraduate Creative Writing is now open for submissions. This year, the prize has been opened to honours students and students from New Zealand. The top prize is worth $4000, and the highest-placed Monash University student will receive $1000.

Joshua Allen spoke to Tully Hansen, a previous recipient of the prize, to hear about his experience.

What were/are you studying when you entered the Monash Prize?

At the time I was in my final year of the Bachelor of Creative Writing at RMIT – the end of a seven-year quest to complete some form of higher education.

What was your winning entry about?

Grey Throughs in Break Rooms was a collage poem suite circling the subject of ‘revolution’, the theme for the prize in its first year. I’ve an abiding interest in the mechanics of composition – Dada, OULIPO, programmable poetry and Kenneth Goldsmith’s ‘uncreative writing’ have all been pretty instrumental to my development as a writer – so the piece was something of a digital cut-up obsessed with its own status as such, enlisting Wagner, Wikipedia, web copy and William Burroughs to the cause of unpacking the idea (or ideas) of revolution.

Besides winning the prize money, what other benefits did you receive from the prize?

The prize and subsequent publication were both feathers in an early career cap, and rank up there with the 2012 EWF Spelling Bee Championship (undefeated) in terms of career highlights to date. I was also lucky enough, after a reading of the piece, to be wined and dined (on publisher’s dime, no less!) alongside the likes of Sonya Hartnett, Peter Goldsworthy and Toby Ralph… though I’m sure I spent most of the evening ordering the least expensive things off the menu and trying not to draw attention to myself by opening my mouth.

What are you up to now? Working on something new?

A couple of years down the line and I’m still hanging about RMIT, finishing Honours in Media and Communication on the topic of Twitter bots as literature. I’ve drifted further digital, with an ‘expanding essay’ in last year’s Digital Overland special edition, and upcoming speaking engagements at the Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature and the Electronic Literature Organization Conference in Milwaukee later this year. Exciting times!

What advice would you give to students who are considering entering the prize?

So long as you submit, it’s never too late to be in with a chance – my piece went in all of three seconds before the deadline! And while it can be a great opportunity to find a home for completed, polished work you might already have lying around, it can also be a wonderful chance to work up something outside your usual form or style, and see where that leads…

Here is a short excerpt of Tully’s winning entry Grey Throughs in Break Rooms:

When I was engaged, my father,
a diehard traditionalist,
told my rather bolshie fiancé he was glad
I had picked a guy who wouldn’t be scared
to use a shotgun against the revolutionaries
Dad thought were hovering in the wings.
Alex smiled and nodded and told me later
he’d be using a shotgun all right
but in among the revolutionaries.

‘In five years,’ he said,
‘a computer program will win a Pulitzer —
and I’ll be damned if it’s not our technology.’

(Should it occur, the prize
would not be awarded to abstract code,
but to its human creators.)

Friends, rockers, countrymen!

Lend us your ears
and we’ll subject them
to loud rock music.

Tighten your togas,
strap on the dancing sandals
and join us.

Soundwave is technology gone wrong.

Here Lethem claims,

‘The notion of a college text is,
of course, not original to me.’  

Tully Hansen was the winner of the Monash Prize in 2012. He also contributed to The Emerging Writer in the same year, which is available on our website here

An EWF Christmas Wish List

Our writers have been busy publishing incredible work all year. If you want to combine the pleasure of buying excellent gifts for your loved ones and supporting talented Australian writers, then this is the Christmas list for you!  

The Emerging Writer is an insider’s guide to the craft, philosophy and politics of being a writer. If you want to be rad like the following authors, you will want to get your hands on a copy of this book. It will give you the information you need on getting paid for your work, expanding your networks and finding inspiration.

Journals and Anthologies

Blood and Thunder Anthology

Blood and Thunder Anthology

Australian journals had a big year this year, publishing world-class writing and art. They provide opportunities and professional support for our local writers all year round. They are a breeding ground for fabulous writers and editors, and often give writers their first opportunities. A subscription to one of these journals will be a wonderful Christmas gift for someone who want to see these journals thrive in the future.

Blood and Thunder Anthology
The Lifted Brow
Kill Your Darlings
Review of Australian Fiction
The Sleepers Almanac


We have seen some incredible voices emerge into the publishing sphere this year and we were lucky enough to see the following authors at the 2013 festival. If you are thinking about reading some incredible contemporary Australian fiction, this is the place to start.

An Elegant Young Man – Luke Carman
Floundering – Romy Ash
What Was Left – Eleanor Limprecht
Blood Witness – Alex Hammond
The Hunt for Pierre Jnr – David Henley
We Are Not the Same Anymore – Chris Somerville


Non-fiction is always a great place to start when looking for Christmas gifts. Our festival ambassador, John Safran, has seized his Truman Capote moment and published a true crime book, which promises to be a fascinating read. These authors also have some fantastic stories to tell about their experiences.

Holiday in Cambodia – Laura Jean McKay
Madness: A Memoir – Kate Richards
Moron to Moron – Tom Doig
Murder in Mississippi – John Safran


The novella is seeing resurgence in popularity this year. Readers are enjoying the pocket-sized books and publishers are investing in the format as well. Sydney publishing house, Xoum, launched a novella prize and announced the winner during the festival. The winning novella is a wonderful vignette and an excellent gift idea.

Midnight Blue and Endlessly Tall – Jane Jervis-Reid
Anguli Ma: A Gothic Tale – Chi Vu

Graphic Novels

During our road trip to Hobart earlier this year, we had the pleasure of hosting a Halloween night at MONA with some very talented graphic novelists. Here is a taste of the work they published this year.

The Long Weekend in Alice Springs – Josh Santospirito


The talented designer from this year’s festival, Marc Martin, has published his first book. It is a wonderful read and is full of strange animals from around the world.

The Curious Explorers Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z – Marc Martin

Left to Right - The Emerging Writer, Island Magazine, We Are Not The Same Anymore, Holiday in Cambodia

Left to Right - The Emerging Writer, Island Magazine, We Are Not The Same Anymore, Holiday in Cambodia

Late Night Live with Literary Magazines

From tonight until Thursday, the Festival Hub will be host to our new Late Night Live series. Across the week, Thousand Pound Bend will be a place for literary activity including storytelling, readings, writing, magazine launches and exciting announcements.

Each night, you will be able to meet your favourite journals in the flesh. They will be presenting a variety of hilarious and intelligent writers for your enjoyment. Afterwards you can have a chat to the editors and their teams and have a drink with like-minded fans of Australian literature.

If you are really keen on independent publishing, we have a special double event! Page Parlour will be making an appearance in the Thousand Pound Bend on Thursday at 8pm until late. Here you will find a wide array of hand-made zines, books of illustrations and student-run journals for your enjoyment.

Of course there will be plenty of opportunity to buy all four journals as well as The Emerging Writer so you can take a piece of the party home with you!

Monday 27 May: Mixtape Memoirs with The Lifted Brow.

The Lifted Brow is a bimonthly literary/arts/culture magazine from Australia and the world, featuring fiction, essays, columns, art, comics, poetry. Join the Brow crew as they present five of the best writers around, writers who will share with you the music that has impacted them most, and explain in a storytellery way just why.

Tuesday 28 May: TV Night with Kill Your Darlings.

Kill Your Darlings is a quarterly magazine, which publishes fresh, clever writing that combines intellect with intrigue. Independent, smart and ridiculously good-looking – just like you. They’re pop culture experts, and here they’ll be exploring all things TV – recappers to ‘shippers’, spoilers to distribution streams.

Wednesday 29 May: Ampersand Magazine Launch.

Ampersand Magazine is a curiosity journal that explores creativity, societal change and the human condition through multiple disciplines. Join them for the launch of their sixth issue, ‘One Little Room’. With talks by Bill Henson, Helen Razer, Kate Holden, Angie Hart and John Elder. Hosted by Nick Coyle.

Thursday 30 May: Flash Fiction with Seizure.

Seizure is a launchpad for new writing where young authors and editors experiment with form and style. They publish a bi-annual magazine, and feature ‘Flashers’ – very very short fiction – regularly on their website. Tonight they’ll celebrate the short form, with selected Flashers and the announcement of the winner of their Viva La Novella competition.

Thursday 30 May: Page Parlour.

Did you know Emerging Writers’ Festival started as a zine fair? The popular Page Parlour features a vast variety of Indie books, literary journals, posters, handcrafted story books, zines and much more. This year, Page Parlour is going roaming. It will pop up at our Festival Hub and Writers’ Conference. Come and peruse through the titles, pick one up, read along and buy a copy or two! It’s the perfect chance to pick up a copy of The Emerging Writer, our annual anthology of all things writing. See you there!

Each Late Night Live session runs 9pm – late at Thousand Pound Bend, from Monday 27 May – Thursday 30 May. These events are free!

2013 Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing – Shorlisted Entries

We are incredibly excited to announce the shortlisted writers of the 2013 Monash University Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing . There were almost 400 entries into the Monash Prize this year, a huge leap in numbers from 2012. Such a response is always wonderful to see (and read!) and is indicative of the talent that is to be found in the Australian student community.

It is with great pleasure that we can announce the names of the 2013 shortlisted writers:

  • Phoebe Cannard-Higgins, LaTrobe University
  • Alexandra Coghill, Monash University
  • Peter Collins, Monash University
  • Eric Gardiner, University of Melbourne
  • Emily Hitchman, Australian National University
  • Emme Hoy, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Kallen Johnstone, Deakin University
  • Kathleen O’Neill, University of Melbourne
  • Leticia Parish, University of Melbourne
  • Felicity Pickering, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Rebecca Slater, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Jacob Sutherland, University of Melbourne
  • Lisa Darcy-Lee Tindale, Griffith University
  • Prudence Trinca, Monash University
  • Jessie Waters, University of Tasmania

Congratulations to all!

Shortlisted writers will receive an invitation to attend our festival event, The Emerging Writer Book Launch, on Thursday 30 May from 6.30pm at Fitzroy Town Hall, where the overall winner will be announced. Up to $5000 is on offer – so it is quite the lucrative prize! Their stories will also be published by Penguin in a Monash Prize collection – last year’s copy is available for purchase if you would like to read.


An (Incomplete) EWF 2013 Reading List

The wonderful and very funny Alexandra Neill asked on Twitter today if we could recommend any reading ahead of the festival. It’s such a great question we’ve decided to write up a little recommended reading list ahead of the festival. This is by no means complete – a bigger picture would be to look through our Writers page, which includes the biographies of all festival artists, and many of their titles are included.

This year The Writers’ Conference as big as ever. The Ambassadors include Walter Mason, whose Destination Saigon is a classic of contemporary travel literature (and very funny to boot) and Jennifer Mills is both an accomplished novelist and short story writer. She also happens to be the fiction editor at Overland magazine. John Safran, Melinda Harvey and Khairani ‘Okka’ Barokka round out the Ambassadors.

The Writers’ Conference also includes a number of debut writers, who will be able to talk about their experiences writing for the first book – Melanie Joosten (Berlin Syndrome), Laura Jean McKay (Holiday in Cambodia), Balli Kaur Jaswal (Inheritance), Ginger Briggs (Staunch: Ward of the State), Fiona Wright (Knuckled), Ryan O’Neill (The Weight of a Human Heart), Miles Vertigan (Life Kills) and Christopher Currie (The Ottoman Hotel)

We include more experienced hands to share their insights – among them Wayne Macauley, Jane Harrison, Alison Croggon, Ali Alizadeh.

And then there are the writers who are working towards publication, whose opinions and insights EWF values just as highly as their published counterparts. The most likely place you’ll find their writing is literary magazines and websites. We love literary magazines – and how they support emerging writers – so much so that this year we have handed over our late night programming to four of them.  The four magazines running our Late Night Live with Literary Magazines series are The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings, Ampersand and Seizure. This new crop of Australian literary magazines have all run successful, lively events before. Literary magazines and writers festivals have a lot in common in fact – they house a large number of writers, are spaces where those writers can connect at experiment –  and we wanted to reflect those similarities by co-programming at the festival.

We are actually running a book club this year – EWF Book Club! – and we have two books lined up for the night. The first is Stephen King’s classic On Writing, for many their go to guide for tips on the writing life. Then we’ll be looking at a potential future Australian classic, Melissa Lucashenko’s gripping new novel Mullumbimby. Read ahead to join the discussion, or simply come along to hear what the panel make of our selections!

And of course, we have our own book, The Emerging Writer, the insiders’ guide to growing your writing, which will be launched during the festival – this one contains over 30 writers and includes pieces by Alice Pung, John Birmingham,.Shaun Tan, Charlotte Wood, among many others, covering handy hints on a diverse range of genres – novels, memoir, playwriting – and topics – writing for digital publications, competitions and pure pleasure.

There’s a chance for you to get your work out in front of audiences too – Page Parlour is back with a twist this year. Instead of a one day market, it’ll be popping up in various places throughout. We’ve opened a call out for interested participants.

We’re also incredibly excited to have Readings on board as our bookselling partner this year, and they are working hard to stock these titles and more during the festival. You might do like Alexandra Neill though and start reading ahead of the festival!

Recommended Reading

The Lifted Brow

Kill Your Darlings

Ampersand Magazine


The Emerging Writer edited by André Dao

Mullumbimby by Melissa Lucashenko

On Writing by Stephen King

Destination Saigon by Walter Mason

The Rest Is Weight  by Jennifer Mills

And you can make your own reading list out of all the wonderful writers who will be at the festival!

The Emerging Writer reviews

As submissions to contribute to the next issue of The Emerging Writer are open, we thought it would be fun to compile some links to reviews of the current edition.

Reviews and excerpts:

Once you’ve read the reviews, you can buy The Emerging Writer here or submit to the next edition.

Did we miss any? Let us know and we’ll add you to the list!

Submit to The Emerging Writer

It’s well past midnight, and your deadline, which had seemed so comfortably far away when you first sat down at your desk, is now only hours away. But no matter how long you stare at the computer screen, the words won’t come…

The giddy excitement hasn’t left you since you read the acceptance email. Your first published piece! It reaches an acute zenith when you show up at the launch and saunter over to the table where they’re selling the magazine and you get to say the magic words, ‘author copy’. But then a week or two later you realise the cheque never arrived…

The one year anniversary of your blog has just passed and you’re feeling pretty proud of yourself. A year ago you started posting on a whim – it just seemed like the thing to do. But unlike most of your friends, you’ve actually kept on posting, and now you find yourself writing regularly. Your friends and family are full of praise, but your horizons are suddenly getting larger…

If any of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then you’re probably an emerging writer and you should read this book.

And if you’ve overcome any of these obstacles – whether it be writer’s block, getting paid for your writing, developing a larger audience or any other aspect of being a writer – then we want to hear from you. The Emerging Writers’ Festival is looking for submissions from people with something original to share about the art and craft of writing, the business of being a writer and the writing community.

What do we want these submissions for?
The Emerging Writers’ Festival is excited to once again be publishing The Emerging Writer, an annual periodical about writing for writers. Born out of the festival, The Emerging Writer shares its spirit and mission – to help writers connect, forge careers, and, of course, write. It’s a writing resource, a guide – think how-to but then forget about dry step-by-step instructions or formulaic writing exercises. We want to know how you deal with the trials or tribulations of being a writer. Imagine you’re offering a friend some advice – you’ll want to be informative and authoritative, sure, but you’ll also want to engaging, funny and honest.

What are we looking for exactly?
We’re looking for all sorts of writers – so whether you’re writing literary fiction, comics, rejection letters, translations, smartphone apps, cookbooks, poetry, parliamentary speeches, Mills & Boon, advertising copy or real estate listings, you have valuable experience to share. We’re particularly looking for contributions from outside Melbourne, and from non-urban areas. We’re also looking for writers who might not consider themselves ‘literary’ – whether that be writing for a trade publication or in niche and genre forms.

What’s in it for me?
As with this year, the product will be launched in spectacular fashion during the Emerging Writers’ Festival in 2013. Oh yeah, we also pay, and our cheques are always in the mail on time!

How do I submit?
Submissions are for proposed work, so please don’t send completed pieces. If you’ve written the piece already, please send the pitch in the form of an abstract or précis. Finished works should aim to be between 500 and 2000 words.

Email André Dao at: and tell me what you want to write about. We’ll accept pitches until 24 August 2012 but you should get in early. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Emerging Writers’ Festival: some advice to remember

The Emerging Writers’ Festival finished on Sunday, but the ideas and inspiration that it created will hopefully linger for some time to come. From the pages and pages of notes (and quite a few tweets) that I wrote during the festival, here are those points that struck me the most: Dan Giovannoni on loneliness: “I’m […] Continue reading