The Next Big Thing

View all events in this series

at The Moat

Full Bloom

This event, scheduled to take place on Monday 9 August is cancelled. This is in response to current  Victorian public health advice and the restrictions on public events.

Whether we’re talking early bloomers, late bloomers, or those who are right on time, stepping into a new chapter of our lives can be exciting, comforting, and often surprising.

 In this edition of The Next Big Thing, we’re exploring what it feels like to blossom in authentic and sometimes unexpected directions. 

 Clem Bastow’s memoir Late Bloomer recounts her experience of an adult autism diagnosis; Shelley Parker-Chan’s novel She Becomes the Sun is a bold queer retelling of the rise to power of Zhu Yuanzhang, founding Emperor of the Ming Dynasty;  and Jess Zanoni’s fiction piece, ‘Lodestar’ – published in Voiceworks – finds two sisters returning to old memories when they learn their childhood home is due to be demolished.

 Join us over a drink at the Moat to hear these four exciting writers share readings about growth and transformation.

The bookseller for this event is Readings.

Please note Sara El Sayed is no longer able to appear at this event.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, venue capacity is unfortunately limited. Read more about our live events plan here Check, follow us on social media or sign up to our e-newsletter The Wheeler Weekly for updates and any late ticket releases.


Portrait of Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow

Clem Bastow is an award-winning cultural critic whose work appears regularly in The Saturday Paper, Fairfax newspapers and The Guardian. She has written about film and television for journals including The Lifted Brow and Kill Your Darlings, and books including Investigating Stranger Things (Palgrave Macmillan), ReFocus: The Films Of Elaine May (Edinburgh University Press) and Copyfight (NewSouth Publishing). She co-wrote and co-presented the 2017 ABC podcast Behind The Belt, a documentary “deep dive” into professional wrestling.

Based in Melbourne, she holds a Master of Screenwriting from VCA, and teaches screenwriting at University of Melbourne. Clem is currently undertaking a PhD in action cinema and screenwriting at RMIT University.

Portrait of Shelley Parker-Chan

Shelley Parker-Chan

Shelley Parker-Chan is an Asian-Australian former diplomat and international development adviser who spent nearly a decade working on human rights, gender equality and LGBT rights in Southeast Asia. Named after the Romantic poet, she was raised on a steady diet of Greek myths, Arthurian legend and Chinese tales of suffering and tragic romance. Her debut novel She Who Became the Sun owes more than a little to all three.

In 2017 she was awarded an Otherwise (Tiptree) Fellowship for a work of speculative narrative that expands our understanding of gender.

Portrait of Jess Zanoni

Jess Zanoni

Jess Zanoni is a writer, musician and editor living on Wurundjeri land. She is the singer and bassist of alt-rock band Arbes, and releases music independently under her alias Za Noon.

She is an editor at Voiceworks, and runs music/writing series Heavy Sleeves—an imprint of Interior Journal. Her work has appeared in Cordite Poetry ReviewVoiceworks, The Victorian Writer, Beat Magazine, Gems Zine, Sick Leave, and her plays have been performed at The University of Melbourne’s Mudfest.

Portrait of Sophie Overett

Sophie Overett

Sophie Overett is an award-winning writer, editor, podcaster and cultural producer. Her stories have been published in Griffith Review, Going Down Swinging, Overland, The Sleepers Almanac, and elsewhere. She won the 2018 AAWP Short Story Prize, and her work has been shortlisted for multiple awards, including the Text Prize and the Richell Prize.

Most recently, Sophie was the recipient of the Australia Council’s Kathleen Mitchell Award for 2021. She’s passionate about storytelling in all of its forms, but particularly stories for the page and the screen. She writes across genres and formats, with a focus on magical realism, literary fiction and horror. The Rabbitsher debut novel, is the winner of the 2020 Penguin Literary Prize, and her first screenplay, All the Little Fishes, has been optioned by Cathartic Pictures.

Portrait of Lauren Taylor

Lauren Taylor

Lauren is the Wheeler Centre’s Programme Producer.

She has worked extensively across Melbourne’s arts and cultural sector as a creative producer, programmer, broadcaster, podcaster, facilitator and media maker with organisations including Triple R, Monash University Performing Arts Centres, MPavilion, Noisy Ritual and ABC Radio.

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.