Photo: Tony Evans

at Clunes Town Hall

Clunes Booktown Festival: Women Writing Women

This event is now fully booked. Festival passes to Clunes Booktown (excluding this event) are available at the festival website.

‘A word after a word after a word is power,’ wrote the feminist author Margaret Atwood.

What is the power of putting a woman front and centre in a story? And is it still a subversive act? In this broad discussion at Clunes Booktown Festival we’ll hear from women who write about women: Hannah Kent (Burial Rites), Clementine Ford (Fight Like a Girl), Melissa Keil (The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl) and Jane Harrison (Becoming Kirrali Lewis).

With experience writing across a range of forms and genres – from opinion columns to fantasy YA novels to feminist manifesto to historical fiction – these writers will discuss their priorities, predicaments and even anxieties when placing women at the centre of their narratives. What are the unique responsibilities of describing female experiences?

In conversation with Gemma Rayner.

Presented in partnership with Clunes Booktown Festival.


Portrait of Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent

Hannah Kent's debut novel, Burial Rites (2013), was translated into twenty-three languages. It won the ABIA Literary Fiction Book of the Year and the Indie Awards Debut Fiction Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Stella Prize, the Guardian First Book Award, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Hannah’s second novel, The Good People, will be published in October 2016. She is also the publishing director and editor of Kill Your Darlings journal.

Portrait of Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford

Clementine Ford is a Melbourne-based writer, speaker and feminist thinker. She is a columnist for Fairfax’s Daily Life and is a regular contributor to the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. Through her twice-weekly columns for Daily Life, Clementine explores issues of gender inequality and pop culture. Fight Like a Girl is her first book.

Portrait of Melissa Keil

Melissa Keil

Melissa Keil is a writer and children’s editor. She has lived in Minnesota, London and the Middle East, and now resides in her hometown of Melbourne.

Her debut YA novel, Life in Outer Space was the inaugural winner of the Ampersand Prize, and was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award, the CBCA Book of the Year (Older Readers) and the Gold Inky awards.

She is the author of The Incredible Adventures of Cinnamon Girl and The Secret Science of Magic, and her short story, 'Sundays', is featured in Begin, End, Begin, a #LoveOzYA collection.

Portrait of Gemma Rayner

Gemma Rayner

Gemma Rayner is Series Producer at the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas. 

For five years she has worked across a range of programming initiatives, from regular event and podcast series to Town Hall debates, comedy, children's and cabaret specials, and festivals and regional touring.

Gemma holds a BA from Melbourne University, spent a decade in publishing – predominantly with Text, one of Melbourne’s vibrant independent publishing houses – and was co-founder and artistic director of the Woodend Children's Festival 2013/2014. An experienced producer, editor and project manager, she is a current Peer Assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts (2017–2020).

Portrait of Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison

Jane Harrison is Director of Blak & Bright. She descends from the Muruwari people of NSW and is an award-winning playwright and author. Becoming Kirrali Lewis, about the search by a young Aboriginal woman for her biological parents, was published in 2015 by Magabala Books and won the 2014 Black & Write! prize.


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