The cornerstone event of the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the two-day Writers’ Conference is programmed to inform and inspire writers of all genres and styles. From novels to poetry, memoir, biography, short stories, criticism, screenwriting, play writing and everything in between.
Speakers range from the emerging to the established, and offer exciting and varied perspectives on their style or genre. Join the conversation as our writers share the ins and outs of their writing lives, deconstructing and discussing the art of being a writer.
This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself to your fellow writers to make new connections and share knowledge and resources.
Our Festival Ambassadors are experienced writers who have just one goal in mind: to assist your writing career. In addition to presenting on panels and running small group Q&A sessions on their style of writing, the Ambassadors will be around for the Writers’ Conference, where you can sit down with them for a chat about your work (or theirs!).
Our 2013 Ambassadors are: KHAIRANI ‘OKKA’ BAROKKA (poetry), MELINDA HARVEY (literary criticism), WALTER MASON (travel), JENNIFER MILLS (fiction) and JOHN SAFRAN (screenwriting).
The Ambassadors program is supported by the Emerging Writers’ Festival Education Partner, Monash University Faculty of Arts.
The Control Room
Step into The Control Room where you are in control of the conversation. We put the writer in a room and let you ask the questions. There is no host, no compere and no mediator. It’s all audience driven and a fantastic opportunity to get direct access to a writer. They bring the experience, you bring the questions.
Sunday 10am – WALTER MASON on self-help literature, travel writing and social media
Sunday 11am – KHAIRANI 'OKKA' BAROKKA on digital publishing
Sunday 12.30pm – MELINDA HARVEY on literary criticism and memoir
Sunday 3pm – ANDRÉ DAO on editing your work
Writers' Conference Special Events
Writers Connect: Australia and Indonesia
Date: Sunday 26 May, 1.45pm – 3pm
Venue: Swanston Hall, Melbourne Town Hall
Price: FREE with Writers’ Conference Pass
The Emerging Writers’ Festival and the Bali Emerging Writers’ Festival are unique, the only two festivals of their kind in the world, and this year, through the generous support of the Australia-Indonesia Institute, the two festivals are presenting a co-program. To mark this exciting new collaboration, we want to explore the ways that Australia and Indonesia can support each other’s literary culture. Our panellists will look at how Australia and Indonesia have inspired their work and what the future might hold for creative collaborations in the wider Asia.
With KHAIRANI ‘OKKA’ BAROKKA, LILY YULANTI FARID, LAURA JEAN MCKAY. Hosted by FELICITY CASTAGNA.
The Emerging Writers’ Festival/ Bali Emerging Writers’ International Exchange is supported by the Commonwealth through the Australia-Indonesia Institute of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Park yourself in the spectacular Yarra Room and hear the emerging and emerged tackle contemporary writing issues.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Voice, Sunday 10am
Reading aloud is an increasing expectation of writers. Public speaking – through book launches, radio interviews and appearances at writers’ festival and conferences – is as much a part of a writers living now as writing itself. And what do we mean when we encourage writers to “find their voice”?
With LUKE CARMAN, GEORGIA MOODIE, JESSICA ALICE, ROBERT MELDRUM. Hosted by JENNY NIVEN
Finding Genre, Sunday 11am
How do writers find their genre? Is the passion there from the start or is it something that develops over time? Why are some better represented than others at festivals such as this? These writers poet-critic-young adult fantasy writer, a playwright and performer turned novelist, a legal thriller writer and more come together to discuss these questions and more.
With JANE HARRISON, ALEX HAMMOND, WAYNE MACUALEY and ALISON CROGGON. Hosted by MEL CAMPBELL
Why Writing Matters, Sunday 12.30pm
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But sometimes it needs to be said aloud – writing is an incredibly powerful medium. These writers look at the ethics of writing responsibly, giving voice to the unheard, and why writing still matters in the world.
With ELLENA SAVAGE, JACINDA WOODHEAD, PETER POLITES, GINGER BRIGGS hosted by ALI ALIZADEH
Australian Stories, Sunday 3pm
Melbourne is rightly celebrated for its UNESCO City of Literature status but does it do enough to share its rich literary rewards with the rest of the country? We’ve invited five writers from across the country – Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, and New South Wales – to report on the exciting work going on in their regions.
With BEN WALTER, VANESSA JONES, LENI SHILTON, CHRISTOPHER CURRIE. Hosted by FIONA DUNNE
Letters to the Editor, Sunday 4pm
Over the weekend EWF staff will be going around to find four audience members keen to get up on stage and share what they’ve loved, what they’ve learnt and what they’re going to go home and write. Hosted by Festival Director SAM TWYFORD-MOORE.
Join the intimate atmosphere in the Melbourne Room and add your voice to the discussions about these writing forms.
Awards and Grants, Sunday 10am
Awards are big boosts for writers – both critically and commercially – but there’s no guarantee of a win at any point. Funding and grants can seem just as random. But is there a smart way to approaching entering both. Or is it just a matter of putting your hat in? With JAMES ROY and ADOLFO ARANJUEZ.
Writing Comedy, Sunday 11am
Making someone laugh can be the greatest reward as a writer – but how do you pull it off? Do you need special performance training or can you DIY skills-learning? And what are the ins and outs of putting on a show? COURTENEY HOCKING and JOHN SAFRAN
What Booksellers Want, Sunday 12.30pm
Booksellers are the ultimate advocates for writing – the direct sellers. What are they looking for in new work? And what is their process with buying new titles? With CHRISTOPHER CURRIE, ANTONIA HAYES and MARTIN SHAW
Supported by Readings
Aboriginal Audiences, Sunday 1.45pm
Indigenous writers are crafting stories unique and important to Australia – and their audiences can be found far and wide. How do we support and promote such important creative work? With LENI SHILTON and JANE HARRISON
Western Suburbs, Sunday 3pm
The Western suburbs of Melbourne – Footscray in particular – have long been a cultural hub, but with new writing organisations moving in, what does this mean for writers? With LACHLANN CARTER (100 Story Building), JADE LILLIE (Footscray Community Arts Centre) and JOHN WELDON (Victoria University).
Tickets available below are for the Sunday only. You can get access to the full weekend of events with a Writers’ Conference Pass