We’ve Got This Publication Day

I’m incredibly proud to be included in this anthology published today by Black Inc. which gathers together stories from disabled parents from Australia. My chapter reflects on how my feminism and disability politics have informed my parenting and vice versa. Spoiler alert: they’re impossible to extricate from each other!

Whether you’re a parent, a person with a disability or have a disabled parent or parent-to-be in your life, this collection is a terrific way to learn about the resilience and tenacity of our community.

You can purchase the book at your local independent bookstore or here online.

How does a father who is blind take his child to the park? How is a mother with dwarfism treated when she walks her child down the street? How do Deaf parents know when their baby cries in the night?

When writer and musician Eliza Hull was pregnant with her first child, like most parents-to-be she was a mix of excited and nervous. But as a person with a disability, there were added complexities. She wondered: Will the pregnancy be too hard? Will people judge me? Will I cope with the demands of parenting? More than 15 per cent of Australian households have a parent with a disability, yet their stories are rarely shared, their experiences almost never reflected in parenting literature.

In We’ve Got This, twenty-five parents who identify as Deaf, disabled or chronically ill discuss the highs and lows of their parenting journeys and reveal that the greatest obstacles lie in other people’s attitudes. The result is a moving, revelatory and empowering anthology. As Rebekah Taussig writes, ‘Parenthood can tangle with grief and loss. Disability can include joy and abundance. And goddammit – disabled parents exist.’

Contributors include Jacinta Parsons, Kristy Forbes, Graeme Innes AM, Jessica Smith OAM, Jax Jacki Brown OAM, Nicole Lee, Elly May Barnes, Neangok Chair, Renay Barker-Mulholland, Micheline Lee and Shakira Hussein. We’ve Got This will appeal to readers of Growing Up Disabled in Australia and other titles in the Growing Up series.

‘Full of deep, beautiful, important stories. I’ve learnt so much from this book.’—Clare Bowditch, musician, actress and radio presenter

Man Up: support your fellow writers

I had my first piece of writing published online at Overland today, which is pretty exciting. Overland have been publishing some really great, challenging articles about writing/writers lately, and I felt that this challenge to men in our industry would be perfectly at home there.

The article was one I wanted to write because I believe there are men who do want to be good allies, but sometimes they don’t know how. For those men, I hope there are some ideas here that give them practical ways to, at the very least, not be a roadblock that women writers have to overcome just to have the same opportunities as men at the same stages of their careers.

Launch of Women in Literary Arts Australia

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Today is a day I have been eagerly anticipating for a long time. I finally get to share the project I’ve been working on for months, Women in Literary Arts Australia. I’m proud to have been working with Kate Callingham and Lisa Dempster on this, two women I respect and admire so much. We saw a need for something that supported the women in our industry to gain professional development, better networks and ways to work together more effectively. We committed to taking the first steps to creating an organisation which might meet these aims. Our hope is that these small beginnings will grow into a strong presence in the sector which makes a significant impact for women. I’m looking forward to our next steps, which will be to form a committee of women from all aspects of the sector to come together and set the agenda for the organisation.

You can follow WILAA on twitter or Facebook, or sign up for our newsletter here.

October 2012 Update

Things are still going full steam ahead at Limited News. It’s exciting to see the site finding a consistent readership, and our authors are settling in to the regular features well. Being part of a team with this much talent is really enjoyable. We’ve all got such different interests and ideas.

I’m working on a chapter for a book about publishing and writing which will be out next year. The topic is close to my heart and I’m doing my best to do it justice. It’s a new challenge, but I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.

Life at Express Media is as varied and hectic as always. We had a planning meeting last weekend and it was great to have the board and staff around the table looking to the future. We have so many ideas and such a load of enthusiasm. Sometimes it’s easy to forget we are a relatively small organisation, especially when you see how much we achieve with so few resources.

First Dog on the Moon and I have just wrapped up the first season of Cartoobs and Other Typos at Melbourne Fringe Festival. It surpassed all of our expectations, with full houses and great reviews. To top it all off the show was awarded the Adelaide Tour Ready Award, which is beyond exciting. We’re looking forward to developing the show further, and of course having it ready to perform at Adelaide in February. Producing it was a great opportunity to return to festival production, which I haven’t done for a few years now. I really enjoyed it.

Generally life is feeling pretty good.

Limited News Update

Wow. So our little sandpit has been live for about two weeks and we’ve been a little taken aback by the response. We’ve been flooded with emails, tweets and comments by people who are all loving the site.

What we thought of as a ‘soft’ launch to see how the first set of content would be received has turned into a whirlwind of writing, editing and publishing. It’s been a heap of fun, but we just weren’t prepared for the level of attention it has garnered. People are asking how to submit, when we will publish more, how they can get involved. For the time being we’re focusing on getting together some systems and procedures that will make the project sustainable in the long term.