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2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival Programme Launch: The Awkward Stage
What, exactly, is an ‘emerging’ writer? At what point do you come out of the chrysalis?
The 2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival launched with a night of readings from Kat Clarke, Vidya Rajan, Sumudu Samarawickrama and Ahmed Yussuf – who each told us about the first time they considered themselves a writer. Hosted by the 2019 artistic director of the Emerging Writers' Festival, Izzy Roberts-Orr and program coordinator Aïsha Trambas.
We're joining forces for the 2020 Emerging Writers' Festival launch – celebrating their all-digital programme – on Tuesday 2 June. Find out more (and sign up for a streaming reminder) here.
Izzy Roberts-Orr is a poet, writer, broadcaster and arts worker based on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung land, and Digital Producer at Red Room Poetry.
Formerly Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Emerging and Digital Writers’ Festivals, and a Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, Izzy has most recently been working with local artists in the Western suburbs of Narrm Melbourne as Maribyrnong’s Arts Engagement Officer, advocating for artists on the Collingwood Yards Board and Moreland Arts Advisory Committee and as a Co-Director of Broadwave podcasting network.
Izzy is a 2020-2021 recipient of the Australia Council Marten Bequest Scholarship for Poetry, and is currently completing a book of elegiac poetry, Raw Salt.
Aïsha Trambas is an Afro-Greek arts worker based on Wurundjeri and Boonwurrung land. Aïsha is currently the Program Coordinator of the Emerging Writers’ Festival.
Sumudu Samarawickrama is from Werribee. Her work has appeared in Boston Review, Overland, Meanjin and the Lifted Brow. She co-produced Sidekicked 2017 Melbourne Fringe Category Award Winner 'Best Words and Ideas'. She was a Witness Performance New Critic in 2018. She wants to use art to powerfully challenge the status quo of the structures that underpin our society. As part of FCAC’s West Writer's Group, she is interested in how anger can be a tool towards community. She is on a journey to decolonise her soul.
Kat Clarke is a writer, artist and Indigenous consultant. Being a proud Wotjobaluk woman from the Wimmera, Kat gradually developed her craft by combining her skills and knowledge in community engagement, mentoring, music, the arts, screen, and education.
Vidya Rajan is a cross-disciplinary artist. She has been a recipient of the Wheeler Centre's Hot Desk Fellowship, Melbourne Festival's Director's Lab Program, Screen Australia's Developing the Developer Initiative and Film Victoria’s Plot Twist Games Writing workshop.
She has recently worked as a writer and performer with ABC Comedy, SBS, Theatreworks, Artshouse, Audible, Griffin Theatre and The Blue Room. Her work has also appeared in APJ, McSweeney's, Liminal, Cordite and Running Dog amongst others. She is a former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, and is currently under commission on a number of screen, stage, and digital/multi-artform projects.
Ahmed Yussuf is a writer and journalist. He co-edited Growing Up African in Australia, the first non-fiction anthology of African-diaspora stories in Australia. His work has featured in Acclaim Magazine, the Guardian, TRT World and Jalada Africa. He was also an artist in the 2018 Digital Writers Festival.