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May – Clunes Booktown Festival

State of the Art

On Saturday 4 May 2019, a diverse panel considered where the state’s literary scene is at. Michelle Scott-Tucker, the CEO of The Stella Prize chaired the discussion with Tony Birch, Kirstyn McDermott, Alicia Sometimes and Josh Pomare.

Michelle Scott Tucker was appointed as the Executive Director of the Stella Prize, Australia’s pre-eminent literary prize for women writers. Prior to joining Stella, she had a successful career in business and government. Michelle is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts (English and History). Passionate about Australian women’s history, literature and storytelling, Michelle is also the past Vice Chair of the Board of Writers Victoria. 

Tony Birch is the author of Ghost River, which won the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.

Kirstyn McDermott has been working in the darker alleyways of speculative fiction for much of her career and her two novels, Madigan Mine and Perfections, each won the Aurealis Award for Best Horror Novel. Her most recent book is Caution: Contains Small Parts, a collection of dark fiction published by Twelfth Planet Press., Kirstyn lives in Ballarat and is pursuing a creative PhD at Federation University.

Alicia Sometimes is a writer, poet and broadcaster and was 2014 Fellow at the State Library of Victoria. Her written work has featured in Best Australian Poems, Best Australian Science Writing, New Matilda, The Age and many more. She is director and co-writer of two art/science planetarium shows and she is one-sixth of the ABC podcast, The Outer Sanctum.

Josh Pomare’s work has been widely published in journals including Meanjin, Kill Your Darlings, TLB review of books and The NZ Listener. He has also won, and been short-listed for a number of prizes. Call Me Evie is his first novel, released in Australia and the UK in January 2019 and the US and other territories later in the year.



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