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2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival Programme Launch: The Awkward Stage

Listen to 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.


Portrait of Izzy Roberts-Orr

Izzy Roberts-Orr

Izzy Roberts-Orr is a Melbourne-based poet, playwright and editor who grew up between Alice Springs and Footscray. She is the current Festival Director and Co-CEO of Emerging Writers' Festival.

Izzy is interested in making work that is political, personal and accessible, engaging particularly with debates around feminism, class, internet culture and the sociopolitical landscape in Australia.

Portrait of Aïsha Trambas

Aïsha Trambas

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.

Portrait of Sumudu Samarawickrama

Sumudu Samarawickrama

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. 

Portrait of Kat Clarke

Kat Clarke

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.

Portrait of Vidya Rajan

Vidya Rajan

Vidya Rajan is an award-winning writer, comedian, and performance-maker working mainly across television and theatre. She is interested in work that is often sharply hilarious, formally inventive, and ethically probing. She has recently worked with ABC Comedy, Metroarts, the Emerging Writers' Festival, The Blue Room Theatre, Melbourne Festival, Audible, Griffin, Theatreworks, and is a 2018 recipient of Screen Australia’s Developing the Developer initiative. She is a current writer in residence at the Malthouse Theatre making new work.

Portrait of Ahmed Yussuf

Ahmed Yussuf

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.

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