FWF Round-Up: February 2017

The 2017 Stella Prize Longlist books in a stack
The 2017 Stella Prize Longlist

Welcome to our February round-up!

This year we’re taking FWF on the road, with planned events in Brisbane, Lismore, Canberra and Melbourne. We’ll be talking about nasty women, and how to give up the “good girl”, as well as running intensive skill-share sessions and writing workshops with stellar feminist writers. We’ll be announcing specifics in the coming weeks – as an enews subscriber you’ll be the first to know. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages too, and of course, let your friends know!

There’s quite a buzz among the ranks here at FWF with the announcement of the Stella Prize Longlist! Congratulations to all the brilliant longlisted writers, including our very own Maxine Beneba Clarke, who features in an incredible lineup of works in contention for this year’s prize. The strength of our women nonfiction writers is particularly heartening, and we can’t wait for the shortlist announcement on 8 March, coinciding with International Women’s Day.  

The winners of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for 2017 were also announced recently. We congratulate the deserving winners  Georgia Blain for fiction, Madeline Gleeson for nonfiction, Leah Purcell for drama, Maxine Beneba Clarke for poetry, and Randa Abdel-Fattah for YA writing. Anyone else notice the number of women among the winners?

Melbourne writer Fury has been awarded the 2017 Kat Muscat Fellowship, which offers professional development up to the value of $3,000 for an editorial project or work of writing by a young female-identifying or non-binary person. They will use the fellowship support to research and draft a play investigating the relationship between lesbians and gay men during the early AIDS crisis.

Have a wonderful International Women’s Day, and we’ll see you again next month!

Recommended Reading

633649674I Finally Identify with Football Culture Again – We’ve been following the launch of the AFL Women’s League with excitement, and Jo Curtain in the Huffington Post lays it all out for us footy fanatics.

The Hair Apparent – This beautifully written piece in Meanjin by journalist Katharine Murphy delves into the tricky territory of letting children go. Bring tissues.

This Jumpsuit Won’t Save Your Life – If all your hopes of survival in this patriarchal world of ours are hinged on an outfit, don’t go for this jumpsuit, writes Hannah McCann on Binary This.

Self Care is a Radical Act – For the QVWC, Amy Gray ponders why self-care as a woman can be so radical.

Outskirts: Feminisms Along the Edge – The latest edition of UWA’s Outskirts journal focuses on women and popular culture, with articles on class and femininity in Snog, Marry, Avoid; gender representation in Frozen; postfeminism in Weeds and teaching gender and race with The Golden Girls.

Resenting the LabelsSunni Overend, author of new novel The Dangers of Truffle Hunting, explains why she doesn’t want it to be labelled ‘women’s fiction’.

Less is More: on Burnout in the Arts Industry – For Kill Your Darlings, Samantha Forge asks what can be done about high rates of burnout in the arts industry.

Things That Are Not My JobNayuka Gorrie is a Gunai/Kurnai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta woman, and here on the VWT blog, she stares down the obligatory roles some try to foist upon her.

State of Hope – The beautiful, personal essay on iconic artist and writer Barbara Hanrahan by Charlotte Guest is worth the price of admission alone, but there are other great pieces in the latest GriffithReview on the state of South Australia, including pieces by Kerryn Goldsworthy, Eva Hornung and Robyn Archer.

Recommended Listening/Viewing

Sisteria Podcast – Episode two of the recently launched Sisteria podcast delivers, with an interview featuring Amy Gray on motherhood, nude selfies and maintaining the rage in the era of Trump.

One Plus One – Interviewer extraordinaire Jane Hutcheon makes One Plus One, one of our most rigorous and respectful interview programs. This recent episode features Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Can U Not – A new podcast hosted by Brodie Lancaster and Kamna Muddagouni, about how two women consume the world. They discuss their latest obsessions, share their feelings on popular culture and host guests who have so far included artist Atong Atem and dance legend Amrita Hepi.

Upcoming Events

All About Women – For the fifth year running, the All About Women Festival returns to Sydney Opera House with a program full of discussions and special guests from all over the world, including our fave media watchdog Geena Davis. Sunday 5 March, Sydney.
There are a number of satellite events around the country too, with live streams of some of the Sydney sessions, plus local programming in Canberra, Dubbo and Alice Springs.

Queen Victoria Women’s Centre International Women’s Day Address – March is a busy month at QVWC, with their International Women’s Day event with Ruby Hamad, as well as their panel series Dismantle or Infiltrate: The Pathways to Equality and The Hidden Pay Gap: Why Invisible Work Makes Women Poorer. You can read more about Ruby Hamad in this excellent interview by Amy Gray.

A League of One’s Own: The AFL and Women’s Sport – Sports reporter Karen Lyon, journalist and author Angela Pippos, former Western Bulldogs VP Susan Alberti and former AFL commissioner Sam Mostyn share their insights on the transformations taking place in Australian sport; the so-called ‘grass ceiling’, and how the media plays a part in the way women’s sport is played, seen and funded. Wednesday 5 April, Melbourne.

Festival Muse – Muse in Canberra is running their first mini-festival over the Canberra Day long weekend (yes, there is a Canberra Day!). Women-focused events include ‘Women of the Press Gallery’, with prominent political commentators Karen Middleton, Katharine Murphy, Katrina Curtis and Primrose Riordan; and ‘Question Time: Robyn Cadwallader’, where local author and editor Irma Gold puts a spotlight on the author of bestseller The Anchoress. 10-13 March, Canberra.

Decolonizing Feminism: Building Solidarity – A night of live readings of bold and irresistible feminist texts by a selection of diverse feminist educators, students and practitioners including Clare Land, Candy Bowers and Sista Zai ZandaMarch 20, Melbourne.

Women in Wikipedia Edit-a-thon – Celebrate Women’s History Month by joining Sydney University Press and the University of Sydney Library for a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon. They’ll be editing Wikipedia pages to improve the representation of Australian women writers and researchers. No experience needed! March 28, Sydney.

Five Years of the Stella Prize – Long and shortlisted Stella Prize authors and judges, past and present, discuss the legacy of the prize as it celebrates its first year. Featuring Elspeth Muir, Sandra Phillips, Kristina Olsson and Fiona Stager. Wednesday 29 March, Brisbane.

Caroline Baum, Only – Hear Caroline Baum talk about her memoir, Only, an honest, entertaining and heartbreaking look at her childhood, at the National Library of Australia, in conversation with FWF’s Nikki Anderson. Thursday 30 March, Canberra.


RABBIT submissions openRABBIT print journal is currently accepting submissions of nonfiction poems for Issue 21: The Indigenous Issue, guest edited by Alison Whittaker. See the submissions page for further details. Due 1 March.

HARDCOPY – HARDCOPY is a national professional development program for writers, which brings them into contact with industry professionals and like-minded souls. This year’s focus is on nonfiction projects. Expressions of interest close 17 March.

The Kill Your Darlings Unpublished Manuscript Award – There is one month left to submit to the KYD Unpublished Manuscript Award. Submissions close 31 March.


New Books We’re Excited About

There are so many great books out right now, and more coming up in March. Here are just a few of the highlights we can’t wait to get our hands on:


In nonfiction, acclaimed writer Cordelia Fine has a new book about the science of gender, Testosterone Rex.

Social researcher Rebecca Huntley‘s Still Lucky shows that we are more fortunate than we think, and have more in common than we know.

Journalist Angela Pippos explore the history of sexism in sport in Breaking the Mould.

Caroline Baum‘s Only: A Singular Memoir asks what it means to be the daughter of two people damaged by trauma and tragedy.

Leading Indigenous writers debate constitutional recognition in A Rightful Place: A Road Map to Recognition edited by Shireen Morris.

Helen Razer cures heartbreak with 100 dates in The Helen 100.

Poetry and Fiction

In poetry, discover the New and Selected Poems of modernist feminist poet Anna Wickham.

In fiction, there’s variety aplenty, including Rebekah Clarkson‘s debut novel Barking Dogs.

We’re also excited to get stuck into From the Wreck by Jane Rawson, To Know My Crime by Fiona Capp, and the paranormal YA debut Valentine by Jodi McAlister.


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