The Next Big Thing

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at The Moat

Literary Fiction

If fiction allows us to escape the human condition, literary fiction celebrates it. So much more than the serious, high-fibre, ‘significant’ works of the canon, our local authors of literary fiction are producing work that explores language and form in fresh and unexpected ways. Join us for a night of readings that challenge your expectations.

Hear from Jennifer Down, Peggy Frew, Jack Kirne and Sarah Kanake.


Portrait of Peggy Frew

Peggy Frew

Peggy Frew's debut novel, House of Sticks, won the 2010 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. Her story 'Home Visit' won the Age short story competition. Her second novel, Hope Farm, was published in 2015. Peggy is also a member of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Melbourne band Art of Fighting.

Portrait of Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in publications including the Age, the Saturday Paper, Australian Book Review and Overland. Our Magic Hour, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2014 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She lives in Melbourne.

Portrait of Jack Kirne

Jack Kirne

Jack Kirne is a writer and musician who enjoys singing to other people's pets. His short story, What Daisy Said, won the Judith Rodriguez Prize for 2016. He is also a former editor of WORDLY and Queerelle, and has been published in Verandah and Voiceworks. He is currently undertaking an honours in creative writing at Deakin University.

Portrait of Sarah Kanake

Sarah Kanake

Sarah Kanake grew up in the rural beach town of Tin Can Bay with her parents, brother who has Down syndrome, two Aboriginal foster brothers and her best friend. Sarah’s father is a Vietnam war veteran. At four years old, Sarah was accidentally shot in the bottom. At eight years old, Sarah was bitten on the very same bottom cheek by a shark – her brother literally pulled the shark off her. Sarah is a creative writing tutor at University of the Sunshine Coast. She has a PhD in creative writing from QUT on the representations of Down syndrome in Australian literature. She was recently shortlisted for the Overland Short Story Prize and won the QUT Postgraduate Writing Award in 2013. Her fiction has been published most recently in The Lifted Brow and Stilts. Sarah is one half of the country music duo The Shiralee. She lives on the Sunshine Coast with her partner, baby daughter and two labradoodles. Sing Fox to Me is her first novel.

The Next Big Thing

New and emerging writers often produce adventurous, experimental or honest work – with the lesser burden of expectation, habit and legacy allowing for more careful or bold ideas.

A Wheeler Centre stalwart, our Next Big Thing series showcases the best in fresh Australian writing – with a focus on a different genre each month. You’ll hear from future favourites, and discover new darlings while you enjoy a drink and a bite in the intimate surrounds of The Moat.

Why wait for everyone else to catch up? Find tomorrow’s literary stars today.


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