Building Community


Last year I had the pleasure of being included in The Emerging Writer, produced by the Emerging Writers’ Festival as a compendium of advice and thoughts about the business of being a writer. I wrote a chapter on community; what that means, how you can find or build your own, why you should bother. It was nice to see my chapter crop up again, in this case being quoted by Justin Heazlewood in his book Funemployed. The book is a rumination on what life is like for artists and writers in Australia. It’s rather strange to see your words in someone else’s book, especially when re-reading them confirms for you that you’re on the right track. Somehow seeing those words again made me remember how glad I am to have my writing community around me.

The Emerging Writer

Emerging Writer

Here she is, in all her glory, the 2013 edition of The Emerging Writer. Isn’t she pretty? I’m excited to have a chapter published in the book this year, talking about how vital community is to emerging writers and why it should be the focus of our energy rather than networking.

It’s a pleasure to be featured in the book, especially alongside such talent as Penni Russon, Alice Pung, Shaun Tan and Zoe Dattner.

You can learn more about The Emerging Writer, including where to find a copy to make your very own , at the Emerging Writers’ Festival website. Even better, come along to the launch on Thursday 30 May at the Fitzroy Town Hall. Bookings here.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival 2013


I’m pleased as punch to be hosting a panel at the 10th Emerging Writers’ Festival. It’s a festival unique in being for writers as much as it is about writers, and a highlight on the Melbourne literary calendar. In one of the earliest years I volunteered to assist the festival by manning a welcome table, which at the time was an excuse to help out Richard Watts, then the Artistic Director of Express Media and someone I admired a lot. I didn’t know much about the festival at that stage, but from the moment I attended it was clear EWF was something special.

It’s a joy to have the opportunity to host this panel, Where in the World Do You Write, which is part of the Writers’ Conference on Saturday. I’ll be joined by Andrew Bifield, Balli Kaur Jaswal, Melanie Joosten and Ryan Paine, who will be talking about their experience on writer’s residencies, retreats and writing all over the world.

During EWF I’ll also be attending the launch of The Emerging Writer, which I have been published in for the first time this year, and various events I can manage to find the time for. If you aren’t already planning to head to something at EWF take a look at the program as there really is something for everyone.