The Next Big Thing

View all events in this series

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 Saleh

Sara Saleh

Sara Saleh is an award-winning Arab-Australian poet and long-time campaigner for refugee rights and racial justice who has worked with human rights organisations in Australia and across the Middle East. Sara’s first poetry collection was released in 2016. Her poems have been published in English and Arabic in several publications and anthologies, and she has performed across Australia and internationally. Sara is co-curating upcoming anthology Arab-Australian-Other (Picador 2019) and is working on her debut fiction novel as a Sweatshop Fellow. Currently completing a Juris Doctor at UNSW, Sara also sits on the board of Australia's largest national advocacy organisation GetUp!

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.

Presented in partnership with