FWF Round-up: Friday 17 June 2016

FWF pic - Scroll

Our full list of Feminist Writers Festival sessions and speakers will be announced soon. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of what to expect.

The networking day on Friday 26 August is geared directly at feminist writers, and will build on the broad range of ongoing conversations across our community.

Our main space will feature an engaging set of discussions digging into the challenges feminist writers face and the insights they bring. The day will commence with spoken word and poetry performances, curated by Maxine Beneba Clarke. It will also feature:

  • Clem Ford, Jenna Price and Evelyn Arleen Corr discussing writing on politics as a feminist.
  • A focus on feminism and fiction with Merlinda Bobis, Emma Ashmere and Anna Spargo-Ryan.
  • The thorny question of ‘what is feminist writing?’, led by Emily Maguire, Jean Taylor and Lian Low.

In the workshop space, we are planning:

  • A conversation on the challenging issue of how we (as feminists) can stop tearing each other apart, facilitated by Monica Dux, Andie Fox and Clem Bastow.
  • A session on building your feminist community led by Karen Pickering and Maxine Beneba Clarke.
  • A session led by Clare Wright and Liz Conor on countering the ‘big man’ approach to history.

As we announce more sessions in the coming days, we hope these names and topics will whet your appetite, and get you excited for a day full of discussion dedicated to feminist writing in all its forms.

Memberships to attend the networking day go on sale to the public this Monday 20 June.

We also have just a handful of Friends of the Festival places remaining. Friends of the Festival can purchase their networking day ticket from TODAY for a discounted rate. They also receive an exclusive invite to our artist party and the chance to win loads of great prizes.

Feminist writers start their own festival in Australia. The world needs more of these – ‘Feminist writers are often inundated with messages on how and what they should write, where they are going wrong, and what their aims should be in expressing themselves.’ This article on India’s leading news site Scroll gives a great overview of why the Feminist Writers Festival was started, with interviews and quotes from several of our steering committee members.


We are thrilled to announce that Readings Books will be the official bookseller for the Feminist Writers Festival, selling books by our amazing festival artists at our networking day on Friday 26 August.


Malcolm Turnbull: feminist, firebrand, or pompous git? – First Dog on the Moon, our favourite self-confessed Moonsplainer, is at it again with a few feminist facts. Just in case we were all wondering what it really means to be a feminist in Australia, FDOTM lends a hand by examining Malcolm Turnbull’s road to feminism and how other Australians can become feminists too! WARNING: Strong levels of satire.


In this inspiring blog post from The Stella Prize, local writers from their Girls Write Up event talk about the advice they would give to their 16 year old selves. Gems include ‘Don’t be so obsessed with the art of dead white men. Look elsewhere’, from Eloise Grills, and Fiona Wright’s frank reflection: ‘I would like to tell my 16-year-old self that her adult self, frequently, vociferously and quite literally, tells people that she’d never be sixteen again, no matter how much money was offered. It’s a tough time, a really difficult and confusing year, but she’ll get through it, and the other side is easier and infinitely brighter. That, and she is way cooler than she thinks.’ We wish we could have heard these words growing up!


In their most alliterative title yet, online film journal FilmInk drops a list of their Favourite Aussie Female Film Directors, all hailing from the glorious shores of Australia. Unsure how the list of Aussie credentials stacks up on the international stage? This round-up will surprise you, with loads of these films gaining accolades from all over the world. We won’t ruin the surprise… but it’s time to put a face to the names of favourites like Proof, The Black Balloon, How to Make an American Quilt, The Babadook, and the famously gut-wrenching The Book of Revelation.


Feeling ready for a Turkish feminist escape film? We thought so! Check out this interview with Mustang director Deniz Gamze Ergüven. Mustang is cutting a swathe through the international film world. Described by Vogue as ‘Gorgeously shot and brilliantly acted by a cast of unknowns … a movie about the policing of young women’s sexuality that pulses with the same raw, untapped feminine power that’s so unsettling to those who would seek to contain it.’

Our friends at Madman Entertainment have offered us 10 in-season double passes to Mustang to give away. To enter the draw email competitions@madman.com.au with your name and postal address, plus ‘Mustang/FWF’ in the subject line. Note, only winners will be notified.


Congratulations to Melanie Cheng, who was awarded the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript on Tuesday evening for her story collection Australia Day. This prestigious award has been propelling new literary talent into the world since 2003, with past winners including Carrie Tiffany, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Jane Harper. Cheng’s stories depict characters from diverse backgrounds, and touch on themes ranging from grief and love to multiculturalism, surrogacy and climate change.


Archer Magazine issue #6 launches on Tuesday 23 June, with a brilliant new issue exploring the theme ‘SHE/HERS’. In traditional Archer style, this theme challenges mainstream perceptions of what it means to have a certain pronoun. Feature articles include Sex and motherhood by Carly Lorente, Menstrual sex by Rosanna Stevens and Trans in the public eye by Jordan Raskopoulos. You can order your copy online, or pick one up at their launch party. Melbourne, Tuesday 23 June.

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