Featured Writers

Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.

A photo of a laptop with various people in squares on the screen as if they are in a Zoom session; and houseplant to the right and in front of it, with green leaves and vines. The plant is in focus and the laptop is slightly blurred in the background.

When Covid-19 arrived, the writing community searched for an alternative to in-person events. This led to widespread use of video conferencing, opening up the literary world to a much wider audience. As we move forward with Covid-19 and the writing community increasingly returns to in-person activities, are we in danger of losing a crucial insight?

 

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her debut novel, 'The Strays', was the winner of the 2015 Stella Prize. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction has appeared in various publications, and she has been teaching creative writing for over a decade. Her second novel 'Wild Abandon' was published to acclaim in September 2021.

Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is an award-winning deaf poet and essayist based in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, Kill Your Darlings, Overland, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, The Big Issue, among many other publications. Her debut memoir, ‘The Shape of Sound’, was released by Text Publishing in March 2021.

Fiona spoke to Writers Victoria intern Amy Bullow about her stunning debut ‘The Shape of Sound’ and her thoughts on the process of putting together short and long-form work.

 

Tim Williams

Tim Williams was a 2020 Writeability Fellow, and worked from Melbourne with mentor Tim Hobart in New South Wales on his screenplay ‘Splint’. Fulfilling fellowships remotely was a particular challenge for our fellows, who took part in workshops and received manuscript assessments, as well as working with mentors on their projects. In this Q&A with both Tims, we explore the mentorship from both of their perspectives.

 


 

Mentor: Tim Hobart

 

A photo of Heidi Everett sitting in front of Australian landscape - a lake or small body of water, gum trees, small brush are in the background. Heidi is to the left of the picture, wearing a short-sleeved geen top, with her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and a fringe. She is giving a small smile and looking directly at the camera.

Heidi Everett is an artist, creative workshop facilitator, mental health recovery advocate, social impact facilitator, and projects and events innovator in Melbourne, Australia. ‘My Friend Fox’ is her first book. 

Heidi spoke with our Interim Writeability Program Manager, Jess Obersby, about her incredible new debut ‘My Friend Fox’ and all things writing neurodiversity.

 

I know you’ve been asked this question in many other interviews, but what drew you to write a book? 

Amal Award

Amal Awad is a journalist, screenwriter, author and performer. She is the author of 'Courting Samira', 'This Is How You Get Better' and 'The Things We See in the Light' as well as the non-fiction books 'The Incidental Muslim', 'Beyond Veiled Clichés: The Real Lives of Arab Women', 'Fridays with My Folks: Stories on Ageing', 'Illness and Life', and 'In My Past Life I Was Cleopatra'. She has also contributed to the anthologies 'Growing Up Muslim in Australia: Coming of Age' and 'Some Girls Do… (My Life as a Teenager)'.

Maribel Steel

They say, when one door closes, another one opens. It’s true! My application to be selected as a mentor for a regional writing group with Writeability earlier this year was not successful but instead, I was invited to apply to the Storming the City program.

To say I was excited to read the words ‘successful application’ in the email sent by Lyndel Caffrey, Writeability Program Manager, is an understatement. After doing a merry jig around our lounge room with my guide dog, I swung into action – and did a reconnoitre on the internet to check out the cohort list in the email.

Lisette Drew

While my theatre career hangs out to dry like washing on a line in a gusty Melbourne wind, I look to my lockdown to-do list.

First: get the jab. Mass vaccination hubs are opening up for my age group, so I book in for Friday. A week away. What to do until then?

Luckily, the Melbourne City of Literature office in collaboration with Writers Victoria announce their Experts in Residence series; industry expert talks every day for five days. I zoom onto Zoom. Knowledge is power after all, and feeding my brain is essential work in lockdown.

Simon Rowell

I’ll start at the beginning, but will not linger there long. When I was around fourteen, buoyed by a sense of grandiosity fed by a healthy dose of hormones, I decided I wanted to be a writer. A beret-wearing, hipster-before-there-were-hipsters type of writer. What genre or style I couldn’t say, which should tell you that my ambition was more about image than substance. I was a reader, which was a start, with a bookshelf filled with Hemingway and Brontë.

Ingrid Laguna

Ingrid Laguna is the Education Advisor for the Melbourne Writers Festival and the author of four books – a memoir and three novels for young readers. ‘Songbird’ was given Notable recognition by the CBCA and shortlisted for Speech Pathology Australia’s Book of the Year Award. ‘Bailey Finch Takes a Stand’ is her latest release.