FWF Round Up: Friday 9 September 2016

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Thank you for being an integral part of the inaugural Feminist Writers Festival. As you know, we held our Networking Day on Friday 26 August, followed by two days of public programming held in partnership with Melbourne Writers Festival.

The festival was a huge success. Tickets to our Networking Day sold out over a month in advance of the festival, and all five of the public MWF sessions were at capacity.

It was heartening to see that our audience drew from such a diverse range of backgrounds, including an impressive age spread ranging from high school students to women in their seventies. The intergenerational conversations that took place were a very special feature of the Networking Day, and were also reflected in the hugely popular public MWF session, Feminism Then & Now with Anne Summers, Yassmin Abdel-Magied and Sophie Cunningham.

We have been busy updating our website with photos from the Networking Day and with links to the podcasts of many of the sessions, kindly recorded by JOY 94.9’s Broad. You can also find media coverage of the festival collected on our website for easy reading.

We hope you’ll keep in touch. We look forward to sharing what’s next for FWF.

Recommended Reading

Upcoming Events

  • Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry will launch next week at Collected Works Bookshop, with readings from some of the anthology’s contributors. 6pm, Thursday 15 September, Melbourne.
  • Spinifex Press celebrates 25 years of feminist publishing today with a two-day event, That’s Radical Feminism, at the Lithuanian Club, North Melbourne.
  • Sisters in Crime will hold its 25th Anniversary Convention – SheKilda 3: A one-day crime spree. 19 November, St Kilda Town Hall.
  • The Victoria Women’s Trust’s Breakthrough is a gender equality event featuring 100 speakers, ‘bringing big ideas, leading thinkers and passionate change-makers to the fore.’ 25–26 November, Melbourne.
  • The World Without Birds: A musical fable by Christine Croyden play 26 October–6 November at La Mama Courthouse.

Tickets on sale now

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Members pic

Tickets for the Feminist Writers Festival members-only networking day (Friday 26 August) are on sale now, available to purchase online only, here.

Our full program will be unveiled later this week, but for now we can tell you that sessions including feminist publishing, building feminist community, the politics of personal writing, and writing for kids with a feminist lens, will feature feminist writers and commentators from across the country including Clare Wright, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Susan Hawthorne, Evelyn Araluen Corr, Fiona Wright, Monica Dux, Emily Maguire and Lian Low.

FWF Round-up: Friday 17 June 2016

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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.

FWF Round-up: Friday 10 June 2016

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Friends of FWF - v2

Today we launched our new initiative, Friends of the Festival. We’ve been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support for the Feminist Writers Festival. To say thanks, we want to give you the opportunity to score some early perks and get your hands on one of 100 Friends of the Festival memberships.

For only $35, you’ll score exclusive invites, mates rates for our networking event, prize opportunities and more. Plus, you’ll be helping make this festival great. Your donation will go directly towards adding more artists to the program and bringing writers from interstate. With your support we can bring together as many feminist readers and writers as possible. Find out more here and become a Friend of the Festival here.

FWF Round-up: Friday 3 June 2016

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Kate-Tempest

British poet, rapper, playwright and writer Kate Tempest was in Australia recently for the Sydney Writers Festival, where she gave the opening address to wide acclaim and appeared at a number of other sessions. Tempest followed this up with an appearance at the Wheeler Centre on Thursday 26 May, where she was interviewed by FWF Steering Committee member Maxine Beneba Clarke in front of a packed audience.

The whole interview (which includes a reading by Tempest) is wonderful, but I was particularly interested in Tempest’s discussion of her desire to turn the traditional novel on its head by focusing on a multiplicity of people living their own quiet but deeply complex lives within a community, rather than on the rarefied individual hero’s journey. Tempest also discussed her decision to depict one of her characters, who works in the sex industry, positively and to demonstrate that she is empowered by the work she does. This came about partly because she was tired of constantly seeing sex workers in film and TV who were characterised as disempowered, and murdered for entertainment.

Just don’t ask us if feminism is still relevant

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gloria-steinem

A version of the question ‘does anyone care about feminism?’ seems to do the rounds every two or three years. I think most feminists roll their eyes then get on with the writing and the washing. We do still like an affirmation though, so the incredible response to the announcement of the Feminist Writers Festival, as well as the sold-out recent events with visiting activist Gloria Steinem, have been welcome.

Within feminist circles I think the question of ‘why are we arguing the same things again… still…?’ tends to do the rounds too, and it was this that Gloria Steinem picked up on at Sydney Writers’ Festival at the weekend.