The Next Big Thing

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at The Moat

2019 Emerging Writers’ Festival Edition

On 24 June, prepare for a strong literary gale blowing in from the north, as we host four incredible interstate writers – all in Melbourne as guests of the Emerging Writers Festival – for our next edition of The Next Big Thing.

If you're keen to hear new stories and discover emerging literary voices, join us at the Moat and hear from some of the best new writers around. We’ll hear readings from Malaysian poet Zhi Yi Cham, short-story writer Julie Keys, activist-poet Sara Saleh and fiction writer and essayist Shirley Le.

Presented in partnership with the Emerging Writers' Festival.

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Portrait of Sara M Saleh

Sara M Saleh

Sara M Saleh is a human rights activist and the daughter of migrants from Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, living on Gadigal land. A poet and writer, her pieces have been published in English and Arabic in various national and international outlets and anthologies including Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Meanjin, Overland Journal, and Rabbit Poetry.

Portrait of Shirley Le

Shirley Le

Shirley Le is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Western Sydney and is a part of the Sweatshop Writers Collective. Her short stories and essays have been published on SBS Online, the Lifted Brow, the Griffith Review, Meanjin and the Big Black Thing. In 2017, Shirley was a recipient of a WestWords Emerging Writers Fellowship. She is now working on her debut novel through a mentorship with Affirm Press.

Portrait of Julie Keys

Julie Keys

Julie Keys lives in the Illawarra region on the NSW south coast. Her short stories have been published across a range of Australian journals. Julie has worked as a tutor, a registered nurse, a youth worker and as a clinical trials coordinator. She is now studying a PhD in creative arts at the University of Wollongong and writing full-time. Her debut novel, The Artist's Portrait, was shortlisted for The Richell Prize for Emerging Writers in 2017.

Portrait of Zhi Yi Cham

Zhi Yi Cham

Zhi Yi Cham is a Malaysian woman currently based on Ngunnawal-Ngambri country, which now exists as the esoteric wormhole known as Canberra. She is a believer of deep joy mediocrity and is a messy Sagittarius who aspires to full time tenderness. Her work has appeared in daikon* zine, Ibis House, Peril and Australian Poetry among others. Her chapbook, 'blur by the' is out with Subbed In in 2019. She is an alumnus of Toolkits: Poetry 2016 and select Winter Tangerine workshops in 2018. 

The Next Big Thing

The Next Big Thing takes place every month at the Moat and is a cherished Melbourne institution. It's the place to be if you want to hear great emerging writers read from new and adventurous work.

Enjoy a delicious drink and a bite to eat, while sampling writing from tomorrow's best and brightest literary stars.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.

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