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Australiana Edition


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This event has been cancelled as part of our preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. It will be recorded and published online at a later time instead; if you’ve booked tickets, we’ll be in touch via email with updates.

Find out more about our response to COVID-19 here.

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.


Stella Charls

Stella is the Wheeler Centre’s Programming Coordinator. An emerging arts manager and event producer, Stella was previously the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Readings, and the Festival Manager for the National Young Writers’ Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of young and innova... Read more

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. 

Wayne Marshall

Wayne Marshall’s stories have appeared in Going Down Swinging, Kill Your Darlings, Island, Review 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His story collection Shirl (then Frontier Sport) was shortlisted for the 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript.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 t... Read more

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.

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. ... Read more


The Moat

176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.