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State of the (Writing) Nation: Jennifer Down



Jennifer Down, Mykaela Saunders, Christos Tsiolkas, Melanie Cheg, and Andy Jackson




Multi-award-winning novelist Jennifer Down reflects on the state of Australian literature and publishing in Writers Victoria’s annual State of the (Writing) Nation address.
A portrait of Jennifer Down.


The State of the (Writing) Nation is Writers Victoria’s annual address from a prominent Australian writer. It’s a chance to reflect on what’s happening and where we’re heading in Australian literature and publishing. Now, for the first time in three years, the State of the (Writing) Nation will return as an in-person event, with a livestream also available.

This year, Jennifer Down will give the address. Down’s debut novel, Our Magic Hour, was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Her story collection Pulse Points won the 2018 Readings Prize and the 2018 Steele Rudd Award in the Queensland Literary Awards. She was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Australian Novelist in 2017 and 2018, and Bodies of Light, her second and most recent novel, won the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Hosted by Writers Victoria patrons Melanie Cheng, Andy Jackson and Christos Tsiolkas, the evening will also feature a short virtual reading from Mykaela Saunders, editor of This All Come Back Now.

Presented in partnership with The Wheeler Centre. All proceeds from this event will support the Writers Victoria Fund, which supports writers who experience financial barriers to access professional development and networking opportunities.


Live-stream tickets: Free, but bookings are required. Book for the live-stream here.

In-person tickets: $20, plus $4.40 transaction fee. Book for the in-person event here.

We never want cost to be a barrier for anyone to experience events presented by the Wheeler Centre. If you are not in a position to purchase a ticket right now, please select the No One Turned Away For Lack of Funds (‘NOTAFLOF’) ticket option.



Cancellation Policy


176 Little Lonsdale Street
3000 Australia


Phone: (03) 9917 8463
Email: program@writersvictoria.org.au

Online registration is not currently available for this event (contact the site administrator for assistance).
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