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Fire Flood Plague: Making sense of 2020


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How will 2020 shift our sense of our history, our environment and ourselves? And how might it change our ideas about the future?

A new anthology, Fire Flood Plague, sees leading Australian writers trying to make sense of the chaos of 2020; a year that began with raging bushfires, then descended into Covid-19 confusion. 

In these thoughtful essays, supported by the Copyright Agency and first published in the Guardian, our best thinkers grapple with the many strange, disturbing and uplifting moments of 2020; scenes of Zoom chats with old friends, of Black Lives Matter protests, of the toilet-paper wars, of January’s smoke-filled cities and February’s torrential east-coast rains.

At this very special online event, introduced by Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling and hosted by Sophie Cunningham, we’ll hear from Fire Flood Plague writers – environmentalists, historians, scientists and novelists – as they read from their work.

Please note that Omar Sakr will no longer be appearing in tonight’s event.

Our online bookseller for this event will be Readings.


Sophie Cunningham

Sophie Cunningham is a non-fiction writer and novelist with a passion for trees, walking and broader environmental issues. Sophie’s most recent books are This Devastating Fever (Ultimo Press) and Flipper and Finnegan –The True Story of How Tiny Jumpers Saved Little Penguins (Albert Street Books)... Read more

Billy Griffiths

Billy Griffiths is an Australian writer and historian. His latest book, Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia (Black Inc., 2018), won the Ernest Scott Prize, the Felicia A. Holton Book Award, the John Mulvaney Book Award, the Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction and the 2019 Book of the ... Read more

Kate Cole-Adams

Kate Cole-Adams is a Melbourne-based writer and journalist. Her 2017 book Anaesthesia won the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award and was shortlisted for the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (Non-Fiction category) and Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award. Her 2008 novel, Walking to the M... Read more

Jane Rawson

Jane Rawson writes novels, essays and stories, mostly about climate change and animals. Her latest novel is From the Wreck. She lives in Tasmania’s Huon Valley and works for a conservation organisation.

Gabrielle Chan

Gabrielle Chan has been a journalist for more than 30 years. She began covering politics in the 1990s for The Australian at the NSW parliament and in the Canberra press gallery. She has worked for Guardian Australia since 2013 in roles including political correspondent and Politics Live blogger. Th... Read more

Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner from Melbourne. She is the author of Australia Day, which won the 2018 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Fiction, and Room for a Stranger, which was longlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Award. Her non-fiction has been published in the G... Read more

Adam Suckling

Adam joined the Copyright Agency as Chief Executive in August 2015 from News Corp, where he was the Director of Policy, Corporate Affairs & Community Relations. Prior to that, he was the director of policy and corporate affairs for FOXTEL and prior to this held a commercial role running FOXTEL... Read more

Kim Scott

Kim Scott is a Miles Franklin Award-winning novelist based in Fremantle, Western Australia. Kim Scott grew up on the south coast of Western Australia. He is proud to be one among those who call themselves Noongar. His second novel, Benang: From the Heart, won the 1999 Western Australian Premier̵... Read more

Jess Hill

Jess Hill is an investigative journalist who has been writing about domestic violence since 2014. Prior to this, she was a producer for ABC Radio, a Middle East correspondent for the Global Mail, and an investigative journalist for Background Briefing. She was listed in Foreign Policy‘s top... Read more


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