FWF Round-Up: November 2017

As we look towards the end of the year, we want to say a big thank you to everyone who attended a Feminist Writers Festival event in 2017. We are excited to announce major festival events in 2018; stay tuned!


This month, we’re excited to have the inimitable Sarah Krasnostein on board for our FWF Q&A. Her first book, The Trauma Cleaner, is an intricate portrait of the fascinating Sandra Pankhurst: a woman of many layers.

We speak to Sarah about the challenges of writing other people’s stories, her favourite feminist reads and more.

Read our Q&A with Sarah Krasnostein


Congratulations to Josephine Wilson, whose novel Extinctions has taken out the Colin Roderick Prize, following her Miles Franklin win this earlier year. Jane Harper has won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger for her debut novel The Dry; and Yassmin Abdel-Magied recently announced she has signed a book deal with Penguin Random House for her first YA novel, You Must Be Layla.

Recommended Reading

My conservative Vietnamese family voted ‘yes’ – stop blaming migrants – For Daily LifeGiselle Au-Nhien Nguyen condemns the anger directed towards low ‘yes’ voting areas without considering the complexities of culture, and shares her family’s own journey.

The Letdown shows the darker side of motherhood – and it’s a relief – For The GuardianAmy Corderoy writes that the new ABC TV series The Letdown injects realistic expectations of motherhood into popular culture.

The Australian media industry operates a protection racket for men like Don Burke – When Tracey Spicer put a call out to women about experiences of sexual harassment in Australia’s media and entertainment industry, her investigation went from two offenders, to hundreds.

“Luckily, I had a breakdown”: sexual harassment in Australian performing arts – After the Harvey Weinstein fallout in Hollywood, Alison Croggon condemns the silence from the Australian performing arts industry for Witness.

On being a non-compliant woman – For Feminartsy, Naomi Barnbaum asks us to dispense with the ‘shoulds’ of being a woman, and offer more resistance.

The Unforgiving Minute – Laurie Penny looks at endemic male sexual aggression and the conversations that we need to be having now.

I Can’t Stop Crying: After Yes – Quinn Eade writes a moving final instalment of his Lifted Brow series on queer lived experience during the postal survey.

QVWC Primer: Weinstein and #MeToo – The first entry for a new QVWC series focusing on recent issues for women looks at Weinstein and the #metoo movement, and is chock full of resources.

An Unlikely Affinity with Bad Mums – For Kill Your Darlings, Kylie Maslen celebrates the refreshing depiction of unruly mothers in cinema, and how these films subvert gender stereotypes.

Recommended Listening 

Head on over to ABC RN for Professor Genevieve Bell’s gripping series of Boyer Lectures, asking ‘What is it to be Human, and Australian, in a Digital World?’; while in the latest It’s Not A Race podcast, Beverley Wang talks to Terra Nullius author Claire G Coleman and Cleverman creator Ryan Griffen.

In the latest episode of the Verity LA Poetry Podcast, Michele Seminara talks to poet Tricia Dearborn about poetry, writing, the politics of being a woman and her upcoming book Autobiochemistry.

Love politics? In the latest Is It On?, Alice Workman and Lane Sainty take you inside the celebrations and negotiations of an historic week in Australia, where 61.6% of the country voted YES to legalising same-sex marriage.

And for a dose of femmo power, watch the wonderful Jane Gilmore dismantle John Adams’ feeble argument on the Don Burke allegations on ABC’s The Drum.

Upcoming Events

December 1, Melbourne –  It’s the International Day of People With Disability, so head on over to the Melba Spiegeltent for the Quippings Risky Business Show.

December 4, Melbourne – It’s Not a Race celebrates two seasons with a live recording show, with host Beverley Wang joined by guests Benjamin Law, Santilla Chingaipe and Paola Balla, as well as live music from Yeo.

December 5, Melbourne – As part of the Mapping Melbourne Festival, No Vacancy Gallery is hosting the ‘Reflection’ exhibition opening, featuring Pimpisa Tinpalit, Leah Jing and Yumemi Hiraki.

December 11, Sydney – With one in five Australians a victim of revenge porn, the Wine and Women’s Rights dialogue on ‘Revenge Porn: Crime in the Age of Technology’ is timely and important.

December 12, Melbourne – Join Michelle Grattan In Conversation in the Queen Victoria Gardens, as she takes you through the stories from her book, The Conversation Yearbook 2017.

December 14, Brisbane – In store at Avid Reader Bookshop, join Member for Griffith Terri Butler as she talks about politics and her book, Labor of Love.

Entries are open for the 2018 black&write! Fellowships, which aim to identify and mentor Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander editors and writers.

Adventuress, a new travel mag for women, is seeking submissions. Head here for guidelines.

The Emerging Writers’ Festival is calling for artists and writers for its 2018 program. Applications close 11.59pm, December 3.

Voiceworks is looking for new members to join its editorial committee. Applicants must be under 24. Closes 11.59pm, December 3.

The Moth Poetry Prize for an unpublished poem is open for entries. Closes December 31.

The annual Kat Muscat Fellowship is open for applications, for female or non-binary writers aged 16-30. Closes midnight, January 14.

What We’re Reading

In fiction this month, check out Lynette Washington’s suburban dream Plane Tree Drive; Tracey Crisp takes a fearless look at motherhood and desperation in Surrogate; Stephanie Parkyn’s Into the World explores life for women in eighteenth century France; Kathy Lette’s wild follow-up, After the Blues, tells us what Debbie did next; and The Best Australian Stories 2017 will keep you turning pages til Christmas.

In nonfiction, historian Judith Buckrich explores one of Melbourne’s renowned streets in Acland Street: The Grand Lady of St Kilda; Lyn McLean sheds some much-needed light on tech-life in Wireless-Wise Families; Jess Halloran teams up with tennis legend Jelena Dokic to tell her remarkable story in Unbreakable; in One Enchanted Evening, Charlotte Smith’s inherited collection of vintage dresses is brought to life by illustrator Grant Cowen; Mandy Sayer explores the history and experiences of Romani since the First Fleet in Australian Gypsies; acclaimed filmmaker Sheridan Jobbins’ memoir Wish You Were Here is best for road-trip reading; and The Best Australian Essays 2017 is essential reading to see out the year.

In YA and children’s fiction, Nova Weetman makes a much-anticipated revisit to beloved character Clem Timmins in The Secrets We Share; Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone is full of spells, pirates and cleverness; Jackie French’s bushfire drama Facing the Flame is gripping summer reading; Girlish by Alana Wulff is jam-packed with inspirational feminism for teens; and Zoe Foster Blake takes fart jokes to the next level in No One Likes a Fart.

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