The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

The Hazel Rowley Literary Committee and Writers Victoria are pleased to announce seven writers have been shortlisted for the 2021 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, worth $15,000.

“The shortlist reflects an exciting and diverse range of subjects both contemporary and historic, including artists, filmmakers, actors and writers,” said Della Rowley, Hazel’s sister. “This year, more than any other, it is vital to support writers. Given the impact of COVID-19, priority has been given to writers researching and writing within Australia.

A woman with her head tilted down and away from the camera, her short black and red dyed hair covering the side of her face

Disabled People of Colour are Erased from the Narrative

The year is 2018:

<Jumble of words; sounds of mumbling>

Me, replying from across the large oak table, ‘Yes, at Digital Writers Festival.’

<laughter erupting> ‘We just said that!’ they answered back and gave me a what’s-wrong-with-you look.

‘Sorry, I can’t hear well,’ I replied in a sheepish tone, and pointed to one of my ears.

My eyes panned the cavernous lobby with high ceiling.

High ceiling, lots of echoing, I could barely hear.

A smiling Vietnamese woman with short dark hair, wearing a red jacket.

It's God's Will

Whenever a catastrophe happens, we all try to find ways to explain its occurrence to ease our mind and help us accept drastic consequences.  My sudden loss of vision during my trip to Vietnam shocked people and inevitably I became a target for many quirky comments and advice.

My sister and brother showed their concern by bombarding me with their wisdom. “You always do too much.  You never rest, so your body just collapsed.”

 “I went to the gym three times a week.  I was very fit before this happened.” 

Christine Davey-White, A smiling woman with grey hair and brown eyes

Erasing the Scar

“Why do you have a scar?”

She leaned forward, prodding my stomach.

It wasn’t the first time my daughter had asked about my shape or the myriad ridges etched upon the skin by the surgeon’s scalpel. She would repeatedly insist on answers, needing to know her mother. There was a presumptuousness to her questioning and touch that I loved.

Like before, I told her the story of my birth, the deformities across my digestive system and the ongoing impact.

A smiling woman with short dark hair and glasses in front of her desk.

Staying Positive While Staying at Home

My name is Anat Bigos. I had a traumatic car accident while driving in 2004, resulting in an Acquired Brain Injury. Prior to this, I finished my double degree studies at Monash Uni in Arts/Business (marketing) and I was looking forward to my future plans. I’d spent a year as an exchange student in Chile and I really enjoyed travelling around the world.

I still speak a few languages and luckily, this part of my brain was not overly affected.

A smiling person in a wheelchair with cropped dark hair, glasses, a dark shirt patterned with watermelons and light green pants

Puddle Hunting

“I feel sad… like the trees,” my 2-year-old says to me, looking mournfully out the window into another gusty cold winter’s day, clouds looming overhead, threatening rain.  

“Why do the trees feel sad, honey?” I ask. “Don't know. They just sad” she replies.   

“Maybe they need us to go out there and give them a hug, hey? People don't hug trees enough. Let’s put our jumpers on and go give one a quick cuddle before the rain. Come on, quick, quick, they are waiting!”

The 2020 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing has been awarded to 27 year-old Anith Mukherjee for his story ‘I Am Full Of Love’.

To celebrate International Day of People with Disability 2020, we've partnered with the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) in delivering an online program showcasing the diverse talents and abilities of people with disability in the community. Creative Control is an accessible online program of events featuring visual art, writing, theatre and film experiences over one week from 3-10 December.


Seven Days of Writing