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Next Big Thing: Above and Beyond


Event Status

For this Spring Fling instalment of the Next Big Thing series, we’re spotlighting new and adventurous writers whose work goes above and beyond literary boundaries.

About the Event

In a special Spring Fling instalment of our popular Next Big Thing series, join a line-up of debut writers who are subverting genre conventions and expectations.

Anna Kate Blair’s The Modern goes beyond the ‘millennial novel’ to examine the intricacies of desire, commitment and queerness through the eyes of an art curator in New York City.

Ava Nunan shares her poem ‘to quantify a milestone’ from the latest edition of Voiceworks magazine.

Eventually Everything Connects, Sarah Firth’s much anticipated debut graphic novel, weaves a narrative about change, desire and newness, all told in her signature bold and exciting style.

John Morrissey’s debut collection of short stories Firelight ventures into ghost stories, satire and science fiction to explore colonialism, identity and what it means to be human.

Yen-Rong Wong’s collection of memoir-essays, Me, Her, Us, investigates the weight of cultural expectations and the complexities of familial dynamics.

Spring evenings are made for sharing stories, so grab a drink and join us at the Moat to hear from these exciting new literary voices. Hosted by Diem Nguyen.


Accessible toilets available

Assistive Listening

Registered Assistance Animals welcome

Wheelchair accessible

You can learn more about The Moat’s accessibility here.

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 reception on 03 9094 7800 or

About the Bookseller

The bookseller for this event is Readings.

About Spring Fling

Spring Fling returns in 2023, and this year we’re going Above and Beyond.

We’re looking further, delving deeper, and asking bigger questions with outstanding thinkers who are reshaping our world and envisioning extraordinary futures.

Spring Fling is supported by the Victorian State Government.


Spring Fling


Anna Kate Blair

Anna Kate Blair is a writer from Aotearoa living in Naarm. Her short stories and essays have appeared in publications including Cordite, Slow Canoe, The Appendix, Landfall, Meanjin, Litro, Archer and Reckoning. She holds a PhD in History of Art and Architecture from the University of Cambridge. Her... Read more

Sarah Firth

Sarah Firth (she/her) is based on Wurundjeri Country, Melbourne, Australia. She’s an Eisner Award-winning and Ignatz nominated cartoonist, artist and writer, speaker and internationally renowned graphic recorder. Her work has been published by ABRAMS Books, ABC Arts, Frankie Magazine, kuš!, Graph... Read more

John Morrissey

John Morrissey is a Melbourne writer of Kalkadoon descent. His work has been published in Overland, Voiceworks, Meanjin and the anthology This All Come Back Now. He was the winner of the 2020 Boundless Mentorship and the runner-up for the 2018 Nakata Brophy Prize.

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

Ava Nunan

Ava Nunan lives and writes on unceded Wurundjeri land. She is completing her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne, where she double-majors in creative writing and cultural studies. Most recently, Ava was the resident artist of Space A in Kathmandu, Nepal. Her work has also been shortliste... Read more

Yen-Rong Wong

Yen-Rong Wong is an arts critic and award-winning writer working between Yugambeh and Jagera and Turrbal lands. She won the Glendower Award for an Emerging Queensland Writer in 2022, and the Queensland Premier’s Young Publishers and Writers Award in 2020. She has been a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk fel... 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.