at The Wheeler Centre

Emerging Writers’ Festival Programme Launch: Everything’s … Fine

It’s a tough time to be an emerging writer. Cuts to the arts and growing hostility in this uncertain, ‘post-truth’ world are enough to make anyone want to give up writing and become an accountant.

But, more than ever, we need our storytellers. Join us for the launch of the 2017 Emerging Writers’ Festival programme. Hot off the press, it’s an essential part of Australia’s literary calendar, packed with events for emerging storytellers – including performances, workshops and professional development opportunities that will help you to sustain and develop your practice.

In a night of community and solidarity amongst writers hosted by EWF Artistic Director Izzy Roberts-Orr, Julie Koh, Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa, Maurial Spearim and Khalid Warsame will share sincere, silly and surprising stories about what fuels their writing, no matter the obstacles – and no matter the cultural tides running against them. So steady your chattering teeth, and say it with us: everything’s … fine.

Presented in partnership with the Emerging Writers’ Festival 2017.


Portrait of Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa

Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa is a first generation Australian Sikh spoken word artist, workshop facilitator, actor, producer and activist. Within a short period, Sukhjit has gone from being a participant in the Australian Poetry Slam Competition in 2014 to gracing the stage of Australia’s Got Talent in 2016, and most recently as a speaker at  TEDxUWA. She has performed with notable artists such as Missy Higgins and L-FRESH the Lion, and her performances and workshops have led her to travel globally and across the nation.

Portrait of Julie Koh

Julie Koh

Julie Koh was born in Sydney to Chinese-Malaysian parents, and left a career in corporate law to pursue writing. She is the author of two short-story collections: Capital Misfits (Spineless Wonders; Math Paper Press) and Portable Curiosities (UQP), which was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the Steele Rudd Award in the Queensland Literary Awards, and a NSW Premier's Literary Award.

Julie’s stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and Best Australian Comedy Writing in 2016. Julie is the editor of BooksActually’s Gold Standard, a 2018 Stella Prize judge and a founding member of Kanganoulipo. 

Portrait of Khalid Warsame

Khalid Warsame

Khalid Warsame is a writer, photographer, and arts producer who lives in Melbourne. His essays and fiction have appeared in the Lifted BrowOverland, the Big IssueCordite Poetry Review, and LitHub. He has previously edited fiction for the Lifted Brow, worked as a creative producer at the Footscray Community Arts Centre and Co-Directed the National Young Writers Festival. He is currently working on his first novel.

Portrait of Izzy Roberts-Orr

Izzy Roberts-Orr

Izzy Roberts-Orr is a poet, writer, broadcaster and arts worker based on Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung land, and Digital Producer at Red Room Poetry.

Formerly Artistic Director and Co-CEO of the Emerging and Digital Writers’ Festivals, and a Co-Director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, Izzy has most recently been working with local artists in the Western suburbs of Narrm Melbourne as Maribyrnong’s Arts Engagement Officer, advocating for artists on the Collingwood Yards Board and Moreland Arts Advisory Committee and as a Co-Director of Broadwave podcasting network.

Izzy is a 2020-2021 recipient of the Australia Council Marten Bequest Scholarship for Poetry, and is currently completing a book of elegiac poetry, Raw Salt.

Portrait of Maurial Spearim

Maurial Spearim

Maurial Spearim is an Indigenous woman from the Gamilaraay nation on her father’s side, and the Kooma/Muruuwari nation on her mother’s. Maurial is interested in exploring theatre, song, and dance through expressions of the body and the utterance of the voice, and has had an introduction to storytelling, dance, and song from performing her traditional song and dance since she could walk.

Maurial has continued to work with a wide range of artists who, like herself, have a passion to co-create, develop and perform.


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