Thank you to everyone who came along to our event at Melbourne Writers Festival last weekend, Feminist Lit: Then & Now. We enjoyed a scintillating discussion of feminist literature between Natalie Kon-YuMelissa Lucashenko and Emily Maguire, chaired by the excellent Sophie Cunningham.

We have more fabulous workshops and events coming up in October in Melbourne and Canberra – mark your diaries and book your spots now.


Workshop: Writing Life, Writing Self with Carly Findlay
Sunday 1 October – book tickets

Workshop: Feminist Opinion Writing with Van Badham
Sunday 1 October – book tickets


Workshop: Writing Life, Writing Self with Jessica Friedmann
Sunday 8 October – book tickets

Panel: Giving Up the Good Girl with Shu-Ling Chua, Rosanna Stevens and Louise Taylor
Sunday 22 October – book tickets


We’d like to congratulate Marieke Hardy, who was recently named as the new artistic director of Melbourne Writers Festival. With a stunning background in experimental writing for TV and theatre, and as co-founder of Women of Letters, Marieke promises next year’s beloved festival will be more experiential and unconventional than ever before.

We also congratulate Susan Fealy for winning the 2017 Wesley Michel Wright Prize for Poetry for her debut collection, Flute of Milk.

And finally, congratulations to all the winners of the 2017 Davitt Awards for crime books by Australian women, including Jane Harper for The Dry, Cath Ferla for Ghost GirlsMegan Norris for Look What You Made Me DoShivaun Plozza for Frankie, and Judith Rossell for Wormwood Mire.

Recommended Reading

There is power in a union – If unions are going to work positively for change, Nayuka Gorrie writes that they need to be intersectional.

Trouble at the Intersection Celeste Liddle gave a speech at the Anarchist Bookfair on the potential benefits and pitfalls of intersectional feminism, which is now available as a transcript.

Our disturbing impulse to blame the Charlottesville driver’s mother for his actions – In the aftermath of Charlottesville, Naomi Chainey exposes the immediate urge to shift the blame for male violence onto women.

No, We Don’t Have to Give “Equal Time” to Shitty Opinions  Right after the ‘Does Male Privilege Exist’ misfire, Matilda Dixon-Smith asks why triple j’s Hack program has now invited an ‘alt-right’, white separatist guest on air for their view on Charlottesville.

Gender Equality Timeline – Check out this amazing timeline of historical events for women and gender equality thanks to the Victorian Women’s Trust.

The folks at Broad Agenda offer some compelling reading this month with Susan Hutchinson’s feminist analysis of terrorism in Gender Justice, and Brendan McCaffrie’s exploration of women in political leadership in Two Steps Forward, One Step Back.

Breaking Down Barriers for Migrant Women – YWCA Victoria presents this in-depth study of culturally and linguistically diverse women by Victoria Madamba.

What killjoys complaining about women-only spaces don’t get  Clementine Ford explains why feminists need to carry on the fight for women-only spaces.

Don’t Change the Date of Australia Day… Get Rid of it Altogether  Malcolm Turnbull’s condemnation of the recent decisions by local councils to scrap Australia Day celebrations, belittles the grief and continuing injustice for Australia’s First Nations people, writes Amy McGuire.

Dear Malcolm – Fiona McGregor’s open letter to the PM in Overland is sure to incite many a head-scratch or fist-shake.

MuslimGirl’s Amani Al-Khatahtbeh: ‘We decided to make the conversation about us’ – the founder of the popular US-based online magazine for Muslim women talks to Stephanie Convery about racism, Charlottesville and fighting Islamophobia in the face of Trump.

Something Linear – For OverlandChloë Reeson writes beautifully on the complications of living as a non-binary person who has gone through breast cancer.

Recommended Listening

The Reading Women podcast is celebrating Women in Translation Month, with a discussion of six stellar books that have been translated to English.

The latest episode of ABC Radio National’s Talkfest program focuses on the body. Featuring Tracey Spicer, Lindy West, Sally Goldner, Benjamin Law and more, it gets into the nitty-gritty of the hotly contested territory.

The Poet’s Voice has a beautiful selection of short podcasts on the theme of ‘the necessary poet’. Listen to environmental activist Alison Elgin on Wright, Dobson and Gilmore, Andrea Goldsmith on Dorothy Porter or Alicia Sometimes on Gig Ryan.

Podcasting faves Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales are at it again with a wonton episode of Chat 10 Looks 3.

Upcoming Events

Now until 17 September, Ballarat: The Ballarat International Foto Biennale is in full swing! Be sure to check out the outdoor installation of Shadi Ghadirian and Gohar Dashti’s powerful works exploring life for women in Iran, or some classic 90’s Cindy Sherman at the SELF/SELFIE exhibition.

Now, until 12 November, Melbourne: The State Library of Victoria is hosting Self-made: Zines and Artist Books, looking at the fantastic evolution of DIY literature.

7 September, Canberra: The National Library is hosting an author talk with Judy Horacek, who’ll be discussing her recent book of cartoons, Random Life.

12 September, Sydney: The University of Sydney is holding its Sydney Ideas event, Reading Australian Literature, with Sophie Cunningham on Frank Moorehouse’s Cold Light.

14 September, Melbourne: The School of Life is hosting a Writing as Therapy special event with Sian Prior, to help dust off those writerly winter blues.

14 September, Melbourne: Books on the Rail are hosting a free event. Contributors including Danielle Binks, Ellie Marney, Lili Wilkinson, Melissa Keil and Amie Kaufman will be discussing the #LoveOzYA movement. Meet at 6.45pm at Flinders Street railway station.

16 September, Melbourne: Myriad Collective is presenting TRANSTRAVAGANZA; a one night performance at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and part of the upcoming Melbourne Fringe Festival.


The Australian Writers Centre has done some digging, and found no less than 10 short story competitions that are ready and waiting for your submission.

Entries are open for the 2017 Scribe Nonfiction Prize for Young Writers for longform writers under 30. Closes September 10.

The Short Story Competition celebrates short story writing from all over the globe, with two cash prizes up for grabs. Closes September 15.

The next round of funding for the Australia Council for the Arts grants for individuals and groups is coming up, looking for projects to commence after January 1, 2018. Closes October 3.

For all the Womankind subscribers out there, the New Philosopher Writer’s Award is open for entries for the theme ‘communication’. Closes November 30.

What We’re Reading

This month in nonfiction we’re left reeling with Hannah Robert’s beautiful rumination on miscarriage in Baby Lost; Sarah Goldman’s biography of an intrepid colonial heroine in Caroline Chisholm: An Irresistible Force; and the first ever official Women’s Footy Almanac 2017 by Yvette Wroby and John Harms.

Fiction lovers, if your bedside stack is dwindling, check out Claire Aman’s exploration of love and loss in Bird Country; Claire G Coleman’s speculative debut asks what we would do in the face of a new colonisation in Terra Nullius; two women’s pasts collide in Harriet McKnight’s Rain Birds; and in The Life to Come, Michelle de Kretser spans Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka in search of the meaning of story.

On the YA front, Take Three Girls is a gripping collaboration between authors Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood exploring friendship, feminism and modern female identity; Claire Christian’s Text Prize-winning Beautiful Mess is a real and raw look at grief and mental health; and Megan Jacobson’s The Build-Up Season explores coming of age in a turbulent family.