Storming the City is a Writeability program designed to see writers with disability recognised, celebrated and employed in the City of Melbourne, and is funded by the City of Melbourne via their Arts and Creative Investments Partnership program.
Storming the City Writing Groups
In 2022, we ran two writing groups for people with disability as part of our Storming the City Program. Led by local mentors Jax Jacki Brown and Nicole Smith, and hosting guest tutors, the writing groups met monthly at the Kathleen Syme Library in Carlton and the Wheeler Centre in the CBD, providing free access to support and professional development for writers with disability in the place where they live.
Participants in the groups came together to share their work, develop their writing skills and build creative, professional and social connectedness in the City of Melbourne. Writers Victoria also worked with these writers to develop and present public events, as well as commissioning and publishing their writing.
The Writing Up a Storm anthology contains some of the writing that came out of the Storming the City writing groups. It shows the diversity of the authors and their lived experience of disability; it shows their responses to living in a world where disability intersects with so many other facets of identity, such as gender or motherhood.
For most of these writers it was their first encounter with the Writeability program, and for some, the first time they created a full-length work.
We hope you enjoy reading these stories and appreciate the breadth of experience they contain. Click here to start reading.
Once again, our Storming the City Writers have produced a brilliant anthology. Arty Owens offers us fabulous, funny and frightening short story about a baby doll that just wants to be loved. Liel Bridgford’s concrete poem Crash is a sharp and searing meditation on the physical and emotional scars left by multiple medical interventions and the ableism of children and adults. Willa writes an incredible poem that conjures the whip crack of a ghost cowboy, the voices of ancestors and the murmuring of leaves in an Australian landscape that is bright, soft, frightening and gently familiar all at once. Ibtisam Shabaz offers us steaming tea, to be enjoyed in a comfortable armchair – the scent of cardamom rising along with her hope for the future. Julie Dickson’s The Waves reflects on adjusting to everyday life after a long planned overseas adventure, and Laura Pettenuzzo pens a memo that more than one mid- or upper- level manager may have missed, about her capacity to be disabled and professional all at once. Zoe Simmon’s suite of 3 poems explores light, dark isolation and recovery across a single day, patterned with shadow, colour, sunshine and moonlight. Please enjoy at your leisure. Click here to start reading.