FWF Round-Up: July 2017

We’re thrilled to be returning to our roots for another collaboration with Melbourne Writers Festival on Saturday 26 August. Feminist Lit Then & Now features Emily Maguire, Melissa Lucashenko and Natalie Kon-yu discussing feminist writing past, present and future, chaired by Sophie Cunningham.

Stay tuned for our announcement of life writing and op-ed workshops in Melbourne and Canberra in October.

Recommended Reading

In The Handmaid’s Tale, the future is now – Off the back of the TV series that has us on the edge of our seats, Joanna di Mattia looks at how the horrors of Margaret Atwood’s classic are pervasive in our ‘small daily terrors’, while in The Guardian, Brigid Delaney writes about the power of stories to take on politics in new and meaningful ways.

The latest woman to be roasted on the spit of public life – In The Sydney Morning Herald, Julia Baird cuts right to the chase about Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s controversial overseas move, while Clementine Ford gives some striking insight into the price women pay for speaking out.

The Greatest Crime Ruth Balint looks at the release of They Cannot Take the Sky, a powerful collection of oral histories from men and women living in detention in Australia.

Women laughing: transgression and collective power For Overland, Brooke Boland examines how shared laughter between women is a source of strength.

Why are we so unwilling to take Sylvia Plath at her word? When more evidence came to light that Sylvia Plath endured horrific abuse at the hands of her husband, Emily Van Duyne asks why we’re so shocked, when the writing’s always been on the wall.

Chasing the Clock For Kill Your Darlings, Emily Laidlaw gets up close and personal about turning 30 and Briohny Doyle’s god-sent book, Adult Fantasy.

From Pacific to Pasifika General Manager of Western Sydney’s Sweatshop Collective, Winnie Dunn, explores the importance of self-representation for Pasifika peoples in the Sydney Review of Books.

Here’s why Anne with an E feels like a betrayal If you’ve been hooked on the Netflix reboot of LM Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables, you might be throwing around words like ‘betrayal’ and ‘disappointment’ as much as Bronte Coates on the Readings blog this week.

Reading Enid Blyton might make you a better person Speaking of classics, Eleanor Gordon-Smith explores Enid Blyton’s not-so-secret agenda of morally instructing her readers. If you’d rather not be seen as ‘priggish’, go have a read.

‘Feelings’: What to expect when you’re expecting a book The final instalment in Jane Rawson and Annabel Smith’s blog series deals with the feelings that might come up around the publication of your book.

Writer’s Grief Sometimes, finishing a long-term creative project has strange emotional effects. Laura Elizabeth Woollett writes beautifully about the grief of finishing her latest manuscript.

Recommended Listening

Yassmin Abdel-Magied takes us inside the recent media storm surrounding her on It’s Not A Race – essential listening.

Our new marketing and communications manager Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen guests on the latest episode of The Rereaders, talking Netflix’s GLOW, Lorde’s new album and Angie Thomas’ incredible YA novel, The Hate U Give.

We love the Readings podcast, and there are so many recent highlights to check out – among them FWF co-founder Jo Case talking to Nadja Spiegelman, and Jenny Valentish on her latest book, Woman of Substances.

The clever Rebecca Huntley and Sarah MacDonald curate a fabulous series, The Full Catastrophe, now available as a podcast. Guests include Gretel Killeen, Jane Caro, Annabel Crabb and more.

Upcoming Events

Opening 28 July, Melbourne: Revisit the history of alternative and experimental theatre in Celebrating 50 Years of La Mama, honouring Melbourne’s iconic theatre.

2 August, Sydney: The annual National Biography Award Lecture for 2017 will be delivered by Dr Karen Lamb, author of Thea Astley: Inventing Her Own Weather.

3-20 August, Melbourne: The Melbourne International Film Festival returns for another year. Check out work by women filmmakers in particular.

7 & 10 August, Melbourne & Canberra: Science historian Dava Sobel discusses her new book, The Glass Universe, at Canberra Writers Festival and in conversation with Dr Ella Finkle in Melbourne.

10 August, Canberra: Anne Summers AO gives this year’s Kenneth Myer Lecture, promoting positive change in Australia.

11-13 August, Bendigo: Bendigo Writers Festival has your next weekend getaway sorted with panels, workshops and events, featuring Van Badham, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Judith Lucy and more.

12 August: Don’t forget to celebrate your fave local bookshop, or go and discover a new one on Love Your Bookshop Day!

25 August-3 September, Melbourne: It’s Melbourne Writers Festival time! If you’re planning your events, we recommend checking out the Feminism Plus stream.


The Overland 2017 Fair Australia Prize is open for the categories of fiction, essay, poetry, and cartoon or graphic, encouraging entrants to set a new agenda for our future. Closes 20 August.

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is now open for poetry and short fiction. Closes 31 August.

Applications are open for Griffith Review‘s second round of Queensland Writing Fellowships, supported through the State Library of Queensland. Closes 31 August.

Aesop and The Saturday Paper’s Horne Prize for 2017 will award $15,000 for an essay on the theme of ‘Australian Life’. Closes 18 September.

The inaugural $20,000 Penguin Random House Australia Literary Prize is now open. It seeks to find, nurture and develop new Australian authors writing in the areas of literary fiction and nonfiction. Closes 20 October.


What We’re Reading


For fiction readers, Jennifer Down’s collection of short stories, Pulse Points, is raw and gritty; Rachel Matthews’ brave new novel Siren sensitively explores one woman’s experience of sexual violence and the silencing of those who feel compelled to speak out; Nelika McDonald’s Deeper Than the Sea makes us look anew at maternal love; Pip Smith’s Half Wild is fearless historical fiction at its best; the award-winning Sofie Laguna returns with The Choke; and Emma Viskic follows her acclaimed novel Resurrection Bay with the sequel, And Fire Came Down.

In nonfiction, Brigid Delaney takes a look at our sickness for wellbeing in Wellmania, while Christine Nixon and Amanda Sinclair look at different ways and means of leadership in Women Leading. Jamila Rizvi explores the confidence deficit holding women back and the notions of career success in Not Just Lucky, and the late Georgia Blain’s The Museum of Words serves as a fitting farewell to her wonderful life, musing on language, writing and mortality.

In the YA/Junior realm, it’s always a pleasure to see a new book from the author of the fabulous Henrietta series – check out Marsh and Me by Martine Murray. Readings bookseller and author Leanne Hall has a stack of YA recommendations – and speaking of Readings, their inaugural Young Adult Book Prize was won by Zana Fraillon for 2016’s The Bone Sparrow, which is definitely worth revisiting.


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