2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival

Disability Arts advocate, Julie McNamaraFeaturing ten days of exploration, professional development and entertainment designed for storytellers of all kinds, Australia’s premier festival for new and emerging writers is about to kick off for its 2017 iteration, the first under new Artistic Director Izzy Roberts-Orr.

Programmed in venues across Melbourne’s CBD, Footscray and Dandenong, the 2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) features over 200 new and emerging writers, and brings conviviality to the writers’ festival circuit with parties, performances, poetry slams, panels and networking events.

EWF is committed to providing professional development opportunities for writers through the National Writers’ Conference, industry insider events and day-long masterclasses. Budding authors can pitch directly to publishers, delve into writing YA, and explore freelancing, short stories and screenwriting.

Developed in collaboration with former Artistic Director Michaela McGuire, this year’s program is a combination of legacy and looking forward. The mixture of vocational, sincere and downright irreverent events makes EWF one of Australia’s most unique festivals – existing to support, nurture and promote storytellers of the future.

“I’m beyond excited with this year’s program, which I hope will function as both a map and a key. In celebration of all tomorrow’s voices, we’re looking to the future and asking the storytellers of the present where we can find hope in the dark,” says Roberts-Orr.

Highlights of the 2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival include:

Quippings presents LOVE SHOW
The Coopers Malthouse: Thursday 15 June
Quippings: Disability Unleashed – a performance troupe based in Melbourne, show off in rant, dance and song. Love in all its beauty, delicacy, power. With: Katy Beaton, Jax Jacki Brown, Kath Duncan, Carly Findlay, Erin Kyan, Kochava Lilit, Jarrod Marrinon, Maddy Seiter, Sonia Marcon and MC, hot off a plane from the UK, the untameable Julie McNamara (Vital Xposure).

National Writers’ Conference
State Library of Victoria: 17 & 18 June
The centrepiece of the EWF, the National Writers’ Conference is the place to be for emerging writers hungry to hear from leaders in the field, develop their skills, and meet other excited word-nerds. Two days at the State Library is a great way to spend a weekend, and this year’s timetable is packed! Each year, five Ambassadors are invited to participate to share their experience, insight and knowledge with the next generation of writers. This year’s ambassadors are Melina Marchetta, Anna Krien, Michelle Law, Inga Simpson and Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario.

EWF Formal
1000 £ Bend: Saturday 17 June
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of the classic coming of age novel Looking for Alibrandi, EWF will be hosting their very own high school formal! With writers performing odes to their high school selves, get out your dancing shoes and come reminisce about the awkward years with all your fellow dorks.

Movie Night: Looking for Alibrandi
1000 £ Bend: Sunday 18 June 
Get cozy at EWF’s screening of the adaptation of this classic novel, followed by a panel where three writers, Lisa Marie Corso, Cass Fumi, and Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, will discuss what this story has meant to them.

Writers’ Night School: Food Writing
Ricky & Pinky at Builders Arms Hotel: Monday 19 June
Enjoy a five course dinner at Ricky & Pinky with some of the industry’s best food writers, Larissa Dubecki & Michael Harden, and learn how to analyse, describe and write about food in a new and engaging way.

Amazing Babes
Bella Union: Monday 19 June
Presented in partnership with i-D, a new binder of incredible women perform odes to the amazing babes in their lives. From the fictional lady hero to the bona fide babe, get nourished by the sisterhood in a night of good vibes and good tunes. Hosted by Areej Nur, and music by Sovereign Trax, Aamazing Babes features Susie Anderson, Giselle Au-Nhien Nyugen, Paola Balla, Nayuka Gorrie, Somayra Ismailje, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Jasmeet Sahi, and Yen-Rong Wong.

Lost The Plot
The Workers Club: Tuesday 20 June
If you’ve ever wanted to watch some true lit nerds battle it out on stage, now’s your chance. It will be wacky, it will be wordy, it will be worth putting down your book for. Featuring songs about grammar performed by host Louisa Fitzhardinge, challenging questions, and hilarious games for all the true book nerds. Featuring Alexis Drevikovsky, Deirdre Fidge, Elizabeth Flux, Patrick Lenton, Vidya Rajan, and Rebecca Varcoe.

Youtube Party
1000 £ Bend: Wednesday 21 June
The natural evolution of any drunken dinner party. Eight artists take to the floor to share their favourite YouTube video and make an eloquent case for why Cats Being Scared By Cucumbers has more artistic merit than Dancing Man Wearing a Horse Mask Cooks Wild Mushrooms. Hosted by Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen, and featuring Zoe Coombs Marr, Emma Marie Jones, Patrick Lenton, Rajith Savanadasa, Fiona Wright, Nevo Zisin, and Rebecca Varcoe.

Tipping Points
1000 £ Bend: Thursday 22 June
One director, four actors, five writers and 24 hours to write a play about the near future of climate change. Presented in partnership with Melbourne Fringe. Witness the raw culmination of a rapid response performance process, where a show is written, rehearsed and performed all within a day. Stick around post-show for a Q&A with the creative team. Produced by Christian Taylor. Directed by Olivia Satchell. Written by Angus Cameron, Kim Ho, Tariro Mavondo, Jean Tong. Performed by John Desengano, Anna Kennedy, Ian Michael, Yvette Turner.

Bad Writing
1000 £ Bend: Friday 23 June
Seven writers read a piece of their own writing that they now consider – for any reason – to be ‘bad’. Perhaps the writing is offensive or clichéd. Maybe it’s plagiarised. Or maybe it’s just poorly written. Featuring Issy Beech, Andy Butler, Laura Davis, Elena Gomez, Erin Hutchinson, Kish Lal, and Tim McGuire.

The 2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival runs 14 – 23 June. For more information and complete program, visit: www.emergingwritersfestival.org.au for details.

Image: Julie McNamara