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.
Rebecca Shaw wrote a great article for Kill Your Darlings about the representation of middle-aged women in films. Women past the age of 35 just aren’t getting roles – even when those roles are for characters the same age as them. Instead the roles go to much younger actresses (hello, Amy Schumer’s Last Fuckable Day sketch), and we’re missing out on so many interesting and diverse portrayals of women as a consequence.
Reporting on the horrific murder of Adeline Yvette Rigney-Wilson and her two children, who were killed by Rigney-Wilson’s partner Steven Peet, the mainstream media chose to pick apart her life and alleged drug problems in a hideous display of victim blaming. Celeste Liddle wrote about how victim blaming is heightened when sexism intersects with race. ‘Unable to defend herself, Yvette’s life was thrown under a microscope to the point where readers could have been forgiven for thinking that she was the perpetrator’, writes Liddle.
Many women will experience an STI scare at some point, but few will talk about it. In a recent article in Daily Life, Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen breaks down the stigma around STIs, getting tested and practicing safe sex. If we want to encourage better sexual health, we need to tackle the shame that exists around STIs head-on and open up new conversations about safe sex.
Also on healthy sexual practice, Lex Hill writes for Archer about the gendered marketing of sex toys and its impact on consumers. She explores the gender norms behind sex toys, and wonders how to be more inclusive of the diverse people who use them.
Congratulations to Melanie Cheng, Susan Johnston and Jay Carmichael, who have been shortlisted for this year’s Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Cheng’s manuscript, Australia Day, is a short story collection that explores contemporary Australia through various themes. Johnston’s Wildgirl is a funny and romantic novel examining the human condition, and Carmichael’s Ironbark is a poetic novel set in a small Australian town. Read more about the finalists and their manuscripts here. The winner will be announced at the opening night of the Emerging Writers Festival.
The variety of women’s writing is as diverse as the female experience itself. The guests at YWCA Victoria’s upcoming TINAtalks panel discussion, Writing While Female – Subverting Expectations, traverse many different kinds of writing – their work spans the worlds of playwriting, journalism, comedy, screenwriting, novels and much more. Through their funny, painful, beautiful and often provocative work, these writers rip apart subjects like body image, trauma, romance and public perceptions of femininity. Featuring Michelle Law, Deirdre Fidge and Lisa Carver, and hosted by Jenny Valentish. Melbourne, Friday 29 July.
Writers Victoria’s upcoming event Diverse Women Writers is a low-cost professional development and networking day for diverse women writers, allies and industry. Featuring FWF steering committee member Maxine Beneba Clarke, Jax-Jacki Brown, Fiona Tuomy, Jacinta di Mase (ALAA), Aviva Tuffield (Black Inc), Robert Watkins (Hachette) and more.
They welcome trans women, genderqueer women, non-binary people who identify as writers with disability, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, writers of colour, LGBTI writers and those from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Allies and industry representatives are also welcome to attend. If you do not personally identify as a diverse woman writer, buying an ‘allies’ ticket includes a $10 tax-deductible donation to allow someone else to come along for free. Melbourne, Saturday 17 September.
With the end of financial year fast approaching, what better time to whip your finances into shape? Let’s Talk About Money – Money Mindset & Goals, a workshop at the Queen Victoria Women’s Centre, will teach you to consolidate your super, get creative about setting and reaching your money goals, and reflect on what is important to you in order to motivate better money habits. Melbourne, Tuesday 14 June.
Studying Australian art history, you will often encounter references to male depictions of harsh landscapes and the efforts of men to conquer them. In a new exhibition, Obnoxious Ladies in the Australian Landscape, Emma Beer, Jacqueline Bradley, Anna Davern, Lucy Forsberg, Alex Pye and Camille Serisier have new perspectives on the Australian landscape, approaching cities, suburbs and country towns through the eyes of women and disrupting the usual (read: male) rendition of landscape. Canberra, until 18 June.
The new Australia Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennale attracted global attention, and Fiona Hall was the first artist to represent Australia. Hall’s exhibition, Wrong Way Time, is now showing at the NGA, giving Australian audiences the first opportunity to see this seminal work at home. Canberra, until 10 July.