The Next Big Thing

View all events in this series

at The Moat

Forever Young Edition

What does it mean to find your voice as a young person and as a writer? What stories are important to teens right now? And how can we make sure these stories are being heard and have an impact on the world?

In this edition of The Next Big Thing, host Tierney Khan will be joined by teen climate activist Jean Hinchliffe, 2021 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award-winner and Stella Prize longlisted young adult writer Cath Moore, YA author and playwright Gabriel Bergmoser, and poet Janiru Liyanage, as they discuss writing, advocacy and making a difference. Join us at The Moat to hear some of the most exciting new writing for and by teens.

The bookseller for this event is Readings.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, venue capacity is unfortunately limited. We will not be able to accommodate walk-ups or a waitlist as may have been the case in the past. Read more about our live events plan here. Check our website, follow us on social media or sign up to our e-newsletter The Wheeler Weekly for updates and any late ticket releases.


Portrait of Gabriel Bergmoser

Gabriel Bergmoser

Gabriel Bergmoser is a Melbourne based author and playwright. After starting out in the youth theatre scene with his early plays WindmillsLife Without Me and Hometown, Gabriel completed his Masters of Screenwriting at the Victorian College of the Arts. He co-founded the independent production company Bitten By Productions, entering the Melbourne theatre scene with the one-act comedy Reunion and the futuristic Babylon Trilogy of noir thrillers. Gabriel's 2015 Beatles comedy We Can Work It Out opened to sell out shows and rave reviews – it has also been performed in Queensland and returned to Melbourne stages for the 2018 Fringe Festival.

Portrait of Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe

Jean Hinchliffe is a 17-year-old climate activist and an organiser within School Strike 4 Climate. She campaigns for legislative action against the sourcing and usage of fossil fuels, along with pushing for Australia to become fully carbon neutral. Jean is passionate about social, political, and environmental issues and began her activism at age 13, when she volunteered with the Vote Yes campaign for marriage equality. Since then, she has also volunteered with organisations such as GetUp and Stop Adani.

Jean’s first book, Lead the Way: How to change the world from a teen activist and school striker was published by Pantera Press in 2021.

Portrait of Cath Moore

Cath Moore

Of Afro Caribbean and Anglo Irish heritage, Cath Moore is a freelance writer, award-winning filmmaker and educator. She has written for the AgeHuffington Post Australia and SBS Life and has also worked as a story developer for screen content. Cath is a published academic with a PhD in Danish screenwriting practices. Her debut novel Metal Fish Falling Snow won the Victorian Premier's Literary award for YA fiction. She was a contributor to the anthology Growing Up African in Australia and is currently working on her second novel. Cath teaches creative writing at The University of Melbourne.

Portrait of Janiru Liyanage

Janiru Liyanage

Janiru Liyanage is a 16-year-old school student and poet. He has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net with recent work appearing or featured in/on The Harvard AdvocateMuzzle MagazineDIAGRAMFrontier PoetryThe Poetry Society[PANK]Wildness JournalCordite Poetry ReviewThe Cardiff ReviewNarrative Northeast, and elsewhere.

He was longlisted for The 2020 Frontier Industry Prize, is a two-year winner of the national Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards, a recipient of an Ekphrastic Award from the Ekphrastic Review and Sydney finalist of the Australian Poetry Slam. He serves as a reader for Palette Poetry and co-founded/co-edits Hyades. He has appeared on The Project and featured in Namoi Valley IndependentThe Minister's Media Centre, Audition Material Young People among other places. He’s recently been commissioned to write for The Emerging Writers' Festival. Born as the son of Sinhalese immigrants, he currently lives in Sydney.

Portrait of Tierney Khan

Tierney Khan

Tierney Khan has always been passionate about using words to express her opinions and to stand up for what she believes in. In 2020 she became the VCAA Plain English Speaking Award Victorian State Champion with a speech titled Not another speech about feminism’, and has since utilised those skills in the multiple events she has been a part of through The Wheeler Centre.

The Next Big Thing

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.


More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.