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Biography, Memoir and Queer Experiences


What does it mean, and what does it cost, to write about your own sexual or gender identity? How much do you keep to yourself? How do you broach taboos? What are the rules when it comes to telling your story – especially when it entwines with the stories of other people?

For this panel discussion, we’re bringing together Maria Katsonis, Nevo Zisin and Eddie Ayres. All three have written memoir, and all three have explored questions of gender and sexuality in their writing: from coming out to transitioning to queer romance to battling prejudice.  

How do writers balance the interests of their own story with their responsibilities to family, friends and the broader queer community? What are the tensions between the personal and the political for queer non-fiction writers? Join these three fascinating writers at Clunes Booktown Festival as they talk true stories.



Maria Katsonis

Maria Katsonis is a writer, public policy wonk and vocal mental health advocate. Her memoir, The Good Greek Girl (2015) recounts her experience of mental illness and recovery, set against her escape from a traditional Greek upbringing when she came out as gay. Described by The Age as ‘loving a... Read more

Nevo Zisin

Nevo Zisin (they/them) is a queer, non-binary, Jewish writer, performer, activist and public speaker based in Naarm/Birraranga/Melbourne. They run workshops in schools and professional development training in workplaces around transgender identities. Author of award-winning Finding Nevo (2017), a me... Read more

Eddie Ayres

Eddie Ayres is a writer, music teacher and broadcaster. He was born on the White Cliffs of Dover and began playing violin when he was eight years old. He studied music in Manchester, Berlin and London, played viola professionally in the UK and Hong Kong and moved to Australia in 2003. Eddie is the p... Read more


Clunes Town Hall

98 Bailey St, Clunes, 3370 Australia

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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 we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.