Featured Writers

Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.

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.

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.