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The Next Big Thing: Echoes


Event Status

Join four talented writers as they showcase their anticipated debut works at one of our most beloved series, The Next Big Thing.

Tickets for this event are currently unavailable.

If you missed out on a ticket or can no longer attend, head to Tixel to join the waitlist or sell your ticket safely.

About the Event

In our very first edition of The Next Big Thing for 2024, five compelling writers look to the echo to explore the ideas, feelings and sentiments that resonate with us.

James Colley tackles Australia’s obsession with ‘Big Things’ in his aptly titled The Next Big Thing; Abbey Lay’s Lead Us Not explores the emotions, expectations and blurriness of female friendship; Roslyn Orlando’s book Ekhō considers the phenomenon of the ‘echo’ in society and across history; and Ernest Price’s debut novel The Pyramid of Needs examines complex dynamics embedded in families and whether they can change. Amélie Jean Staff’s Voiceworks piece, ‘Birdy’, is about the delicate nature of sisterhood and the intricate relationships between women.

Join us at The Moat to celebrate these exciting emerging voices in Australia’s literary landscape. Hosted by Diem Nguyen.


Unfortunately, James Colley is no longer able to appear at this event.


The Next Big Thing series is generously supported by George and Rosa Morstyn.


Accessible toilets available

Auslan interpreting available by request

Companion tickets available

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

Please notify us of all access requirements when booking online so we can assist you with your visit. If you require further information, please contact

About the Bookseller

The bookseller for this event is Readings.

The Next Big Thing

Want to meet tomorrow’s literary stars today? Let us introduce you.

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.

The Next Big Thing


Abbey Lay

Abbey Lay grew up in Geelong and now lives in Melbourne. Lead Us Not is her first novel, which was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Award for an Unpublished Manuscript in 2022.

Roslyn Orlando

Roslyn Orlando is an artist, writer and gardener based in Melbourne on Wurundjeri Country. Her writing and artistic works explore relationships between language, history and technology. She studied Journalism at the University of Sydney, and Arts Politics at Tisch School of the Arts, New York Univer... Read more

Ernest Price

Ernest Price is a transgender man working as a secondary English teacher in Naarm/ Melbourne. His writing has been published by Queerstories and OverlandThe Pyramid of Needs is his debut novel.

Amélie Jean Staff

Amelie Staff is a writer living in Melbourne on unceded Wurundjeri land. Her work explores love and the human condition. She is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne and you can find her published work in Voiceworks.

Diem Nguyen

Diem is the Wheeler Centre’s Program Coordinator. She has worked at the Emerging Writers’ Festival, Writers Victoria, and the Centre for Youth Literature at the State Library of Victoria. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Gender Studies and a Master of Arts and Cultural Management, both ... 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.