Digital Writers’ Masterclass

9:00 AM, Thursday 29 May 2014
The Wheeler Centre
176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne
Victoria 3000 (Gmaps)

This event is venue accessible!

Full Day: $90 full/$75 concession. Afternoon or Morning Session: $50 full/$45 concession. Book Now »




Writing isn’t what it once was, with writers expected to move faster than ever before, needing to keep up with bandwidth speeds and with brand new skills. The role of ebooks, social media, websites and more will be explored in this new masterclass to show you how to best launch your work into this brave new world of words. Hosted by Digital Writers’ Festival director Connor Tomas O’Brien.

Presented in partnership with Junkee


9am – 12pm

With time split between lively discussion and practical instruction, this morning session will cover the relationship between analogue and digital writing, games writing, gender representation in digital spaces, and experimental real-time storytelling. This is all about having fun, getting interwebz-inspired and changing the game, srsly.

Featuring: Leena van Deventer, Katie Williams, Dan Golding, Harry Lee, Jess Kilby and Tully Hansen.



2pm – 5pm

It’s about getting it right online, the first time you hit send. These industry-focused sessions are designed to give tech-savvy writers the tools and insights required to work on new kinds of envelope-pushing digital projects: new media startups, copywriting for the web and marketing fiction in the digital age. With a unique line up of industry experts, this is an opportunity to upskill before setting out to upload.

Featuring: Steph Harmon, Rohan Workman, Willow & Blake, Beatrix Coles, Nathan Farrugia and Anne Treasure.



9am: Morning keynote: Bot or Not?

Feat. Tully Hansen, @botally

On the web, bots – automated text generators work away at whatever algorithm has been assigned them – coexist alongside the writers that have spawned them. Tully Hansen has spent the past year exhaustively cataloguing this new kind of life, creating a taxonomy of the semi-autonomous bots that roam Twitter. What’s a Markov chain? What’s a bot ally? And how is it that a Twitter account that does nothing but tweet the dictionary is more popular than Jennifer Egan?


10am: The Analogue Future of Digital

Feat. Jess Kilby, pervasive play developer at Pop Up Playground & Harry Lee, independent game designer, moderated by Dan Golding

Long before we hooked up our video game consoles to our Occulus Rifts, we played games IRL. Pop Up Playground create urban games and experiences in which participants interact with one another without screens in the way. Jess Kilby and Harry Lee discuss the process involved in writing analogue games, and how these games sit within an increasingly digital culture.


11am: Binary Code? Gender, Words, and Digital Spaces

Feat. Leena van Deventer, co-director Women in Development (Games & Everything Tech) & Katie Williams, games journalist and critic

‘Open’! ‘Free’! ‘Accessible’! We often speak about digital spaces as though they’re radically egalitarian, but are some parts of the web more egalitarian than others? When it comes to games writing, blogging, or cranking out code, who is underrepresented and why? Leena van Deventer and Katie Williams discuss the challenges involved in encouraging and assisting women to make awesome wordy stuff in conventionally male-dominated digital spaces.


2pm: Start Me Up

Feat. Steph Harmon, managing editor of Junkee & Rohan Workman, manager of Melbourne Accelerator Program

What opportunities exist for new kinds of sustainable digital media businesses? How can writers and editors better collaborate with the designers, developers, and marketing professionals necessary to bring their entrepreneurial ideas to fruition? In this practical session, Steph Harmon speaks about her experiences establishing Junkee, Australia’s newest pop culture title, and Rohan Workman talks LLCs, KPIs, ROIs, CPAs, and everything else you’ll need to know on your way to getting your media startup started.


3pm: Copy That: Copywriting for the Web

Feat. Willow & Blake, Beatrix Coles

Google ads, emails, tweets, blog posts: the web is full of words, and a whole lot of those words come from organisations and brands and companies. Who’s behind them, and what work is involved writing copy for the web? Join Beatrix Coles and Willow & Blake’s Bree Johnson and Erika Geraerts  as they discuss naming, brand strategy, and making brands out of words.


4pm: Vertical Marketing, Online Presence, and Dino-Erotica

Feat. Nathan Farrugia, author of The Chimera Vector & Anne Treasure,The Civic Group

The digital space allows publishers to identify niche audiences and target work to established communities of readers. How can writers engage with these groups in genuine, non-spammy ways? How important is a great author website to a writer’s online presence? Join Anne Treasure, recent survivor of the publishing industry, for a discussion with genre fiction author Nathan Farrugia (The Chimera Vector), as they work their way through a brave new world of ‘molecular specialisation’, metadata obsession, fan fic, and bestselling self-published dinosaur erotica.


Admission is Full Day: $90 full/$75 concession. Afternoon or Morning Session: $50 full/$45 concession.
Book Now »

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