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Writers reveal their ‘invisible lives’

A notepad with a pencil held above it.

Writers with disability will raise their voices in a series of life- and advocacy-writing workshops in the lead-up to the Emerging Writers’ Festival this year.

“Those of us living with disability or long-term illness have particularly unique stories because we have learned to navigate life in unique ways,” says workshop leader Kate Richards.

Richards’ own award-winning autobiography, ‘Madness: a Memoir’, provides an insight into what it’s like to live with and manage psychosis, of achieving balance and living well.

“Telling our own stories educates and reduces stigma,” agrees Melbourne blogger and activist Carly Findlay, who will be empowering participants to write their own stories about disability.

“In Australia, we are still more likely to read about characters with disability written by non-disabled writers than we are to find authentic stories of someone’s own lived experience,” said the Director of Writers Victoria, Kate Larsen. “The Write-ability program advocates for the importance of self-told stories and of creating opportunities to reveal the most invisible lives,” she said.

A partnership between Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria, the Writeability program aims to support Victorian writers with disability who want to develop their skills and writing careers.

Six emerging writers will share their writing at a free public event at the Performance Space of The Wheeler Centre on Sunday 1 June from 6.15pm, hosted by Carly Findlay. The free event will be Auslan interpreted.

These workshops are made possible by the City of Melbourne arts grants program and are presented in collaboration with Arts Access Victoria and the Emerging Writers’ Festival. The Write-ability program is also supported by the Australia Council for the Arts.

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