On Elisabeth Wynhausen

Features, News

By Foong Ling Kong

When events in life take a turn for the absurd, I often summon Elisabeth Wynhausen to mind and wonder what she would say and do. For instance, when Australia changed Prime Ministers for the third time in the five years since her death, with the Liberal Party recently installing Scott Morrison, more than anyone I wished she were still around to give her take on it.

Work with us!


We’re currently hiring a part-time General Manager.

This is a pivotal role responsible for managing the delivery of Feminist Writers Festival programs throughout 2018. You will work closely with the FWF chairs, as well as the management team and volunteers, and will be the key central contact point for communications and event logistics. The ideal candidate will be extremely well-organised, and possess strong management and administrative skills alongside excellent communication skills, as well as good knowledge of Australia’s literary and feminist communities.

Victorian Government Funding announced for FWF 2018


L–R: Kate Torney, CEO of the State Library of Victoria; Veronica Sullivan, FWF Programs Manager; Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins; Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, FWF Marketing & Communications Manager; Monica Dux, FWF Board Member.

We are thrilled to announce funding from the Victorian Government’s Office of Prevention and Women’s Equality for the 2018 Feminist Writers Festival.

Awarding the funding, Minister for Women Natalie Hutchins said: “Festivals like this contribute to a greater dialogue about the power of women, their ideas and contributions to our society and culture.”

FWF Round-Up: September 2017


Don’t miss out on our workshops in Melbourne this coming weekend. While our Feminist Opinion Writing workshop with Van Badham has sold out, there are still a few spots left for the morning workshop Writing Life, Writing Self with the wonderful Carly Findlay – but be quick!

FWF will be heading to Canberra in October. Jessica Friedmann will share memoir tips and tricks in the Writing Life, Writing Self workshop on Sunday 8 October, and Shu-Ling Chua, Rosanna Stevens and our own Louise Taylor will talk Giving Up the Good Girl later in the month.

We’re also thrilled to introduce the FWF Q&A: a monthly interview series with Australian feminist writers. First up, we have the brilliant Amal Awad (above), whose recent book, Beyond Veiled Clichés, explores the truths behind widespread stereotypes about Arab women. Read our interview with her now.

FWF Round-Up: May 2017


The next Feminist Writers Festival event is fast approaching – a frank and funny conversation with iconic journalist and staunch feminist Tracey Spicer. Join us on Sunday 4 June at Lismore City Hall, where FWF founder and co-chair Cristy Clark will chat with Tracey about her journey from bogan to boned and beyond. Tickets are available now and selling fast – be sure to let any feminist friends in the Northern Rivers know!

And if you haven’t yet picked up a copy of Tracey’s fabulous memoir The Good Girl Stripped Bare, you can find it at your local independent bookstore or read an extract via the Sydney Morning Herald

FWF Round-up: January 2017


10 Overlooked Books by Women from 2016, via LitHub

Recommended Reading

Making Art from the Outside – On LitHub, Ellena Savage ruminates on making money from art, when making art leaves one on the outside.

The Importance of Telling Women’s Stories – In this interview for the Victorian Women’s Trust, Lauren Meath talks with award-winning producer Sue Maslin (The Dressmaker) about her insider’s view of gender bias in film.

Best Feminist Books of 2016 – according to us!


It’s been a huge year of wonderful books by women, so here are a few of our favourite feminist reads from 2016 to add to your summer reading pile, as recommended by Feminist Writers Festival artists and the FWF team!


Maxine Beneba Clarke

Sally Morgan’s young adult fiction book Sister Heart and Alison Whittaker’s stunning poetry book Lemons in The Chicken Wire both latched onto my heart this year and wouldn’t let go. Zoë Morrison’s debut fiction book Music and Freedom explores domestic violence and artistic passion with extraordinary sensitivity. Kate Tempest’s The Bricks That Built The Houses is in my view a book that has no comparison. Tempest’s words, in long-form prose, sing and weep and roar off the page in much the same way her spoken word reaches the ear, which is an incredible feat indeed.

Maxine Beneba Clarke is a member of the FWF steering committee and the author of The Hate Race and Carrying the World.

FWF Round-up: October 2016

Recommended Reading

Australia could learn a lot if it actually listened to Indigenous women on domestic violence – Progressive Aboriginal feminists have made persistent efforts to bring domestic violence issues to the attention of the Australian public. The failure of Warren Mundine, and many others, to listen to them reflects deep sexism and racism, writes Celeste Liddle.

The times are not a-changin’? – However you feel about Bob Dylan’s Nobel win, it’s difficult to ignore the gender issue. Jenna Price points out that just 5% of all Nobel Prize winners have been women, and Natalie Kon-yu argues that the decision to honour a white, established male over many accomplished females is anything but revolutionary. This graph of gender ratios across Nobel Prize categories exposes startling male bias.

The malice and sexism behind the ‘unmasking’ of Elena Ferrante – If you’re girlcotting the ‘outing’ of Ferrante, read no further. Jeanette Winterson explores the misogynistic sentiment at the heart of Claudio Gatti’s exposition, and this fantastic piece from Lili Loofbourow looks at the concept of ‘naming’ and its importance in the way we receive and interpret works of art.

FWF Round-up: Thursday 21 July 2016



This week we’re excited about the launch of the Melbourne Writers Festival program, as we announce the details of our co-curated FWF public events, which will be held on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 August. Three of these events are free, while FWF Networking Day ticket holders are eligible for a 10% discount on the remaining two events (discount codes will be emailed to ticketholders). If you don’t yet have a ticket to the Networking Day, grab it here.

Feminist Writers Festival public events at Melbourne Writers Festival

Muslim Feminism (free) – Sat 27 August, 1pm, Footscray Community Arts Centre
How are Muslim women fighting sexism and working for change? Shakira Hussein and Eliza Vitri Handayani explore the subject in their writing, while psychologist Monique Toohey helps patients access culturally appropriate services. In this session, they dissect the intersection of feminism and Muslim identity. Hosted by Catherine Balmer.

Winning Women (ticketed) – Saturday 27 August, 2.30pm, Fed Square
Baileys Prize winner Eimear McBride (A Girl is a Half-formed Thing) and 2016 Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood (The Natural Way of Things) discuss their acclaimed novels, sources of inspiration, how gender informs their writing and the importance of literary prizes. Hosted by Aviva Tuffield.

Artistic Lives of Women (free) – Sunday 28 Aug, 11.30am, Fed Square
How is creativity in women nurtured – or rejected – in different cultures? Emily Bitto’s The Strays explores creative communities in Melbourne, while Rosalyn D’Mello is an award-winning writer based in India. They dissect cultural attitudes towards creativity and gender in this session. Hosted by Rita Wilson.

Feminism Then & Now (ticketed) – Sun 28 August, 1pm, Fed Square
How has feminism evolved over the last 40 years? What legacies have past trailblazers left on the current movement? Seasoned feminist activist and publisher Anne Summers and new generation voice Yassmin Abdel-Magied weigh in on feminism past, present and future.

Feminism Online (free) – Sunday 28 August, 5.30pm, Fed Square
How does the internet foster community and conversation for women? Is writing about your personal life a feminist act? Disability and queer rights activist Jax Jacki Brown and Daily Life columnist Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen talk feminism online with Cristy Clark.

Announcing the 2016 Feminist Writers Festival


We are excited to launch the 2016 Feminist Writers Festival in partnership with the Melbourne Writers Festival. The festival will be held in Melbourne on 26-28 August.

More details, including a full program of public events and workshops, will be released in the coming months.

In the meantime, we welcome your feedback and hope you’ll set aside the dates so you can join us in building an even more diverse and inclusive feminist writers’ community in Australia.