The Next Big Thing

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Illustration: Sarah Firth

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Australiana Edition

Australian icons, landscapes, myths and monsters haunt the works of our March Next Big Thing writers. It’s Australiana, but it’s more bizarre than nostalgic – and more suspicious, too. These Australian writers are looking forward as much as back – skewering our national culture and provoking us to rethink what our fiction might look like in the future.

Sean O’Beirne’s bitingly satirical short-story collection, A Couple of Things Before the End, explores suburban end times and features a Barry Humphries cameo. Wayne Marshall’s daringly experimental collection Shirl has a yowie at a Desperate and Dateless ball. We’re back to Bjelke-Petersen’s Queensland for Kirsten Alexander’s gripping thriller, Riptide. And in her Voiceworks essay, ‘Blow-by-Blow’, Clare Millar gets friendly with a furnace in the Yarra Ranges in an effort to master the art of glass-blowing. 

Join these four writers at The Moat for readings from their curious, hilarious and hair-raising new work. 

Readings will be our bookseller for this event.


Portrait of Sean O'Beirne

Sean O'Beirne

Sean O’Beirne is a bookseller and critic. He grew up in Melbourne’s outer suburbs, and studied arts, law and acting. A Couple of Things Before the End is his first book. 

Portrait of Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall’s stories have appeared in Going Down SwingingKill Your DarlingsIslandReview of Australian Fiction, and other places. His story collection Shirl (then Frontier Sport) was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. He is the co-founder of the Peter Carey Short Story Award, and lives in regional Victoria with his partner and two daughters.

Portrait of Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten Alexander

Kirsten Alexander was born in San Francisco, raised in Brisbane, and now lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons. Half Moon Lake is her first published novel. Her second, Riptides, will be released in February 2020.

Portrait of Clare Millar

Clare Millar

Clare Millar is a Melbourne-based writer, editor and bookseller. She is a poetry editor for Voiceworks and a bookseller at Readings. Her writing has been published in Kill Your Darlings, Overland, the Lifted Brow, Voiceworks, the Age/the Sydney Morning Herald and Books+Publishing.

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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.