The Next Big Thing
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The Next Big Thing is all about showcasing exciting new writers: the ones to watch. In this special MWF edition of the Wheeler Centre series, hear from Miles Allinson, Maria Katsonis, Eileen Ormsby and Laura Woollett – in the cosy surrounds of The Moat. Hosted by Helen Withycombe.
Laura Elizabeth Woollett is a Melbourne-based author. Her short story collection The Love of a Bad Man (2016) was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Fiction and the Ned Kelly Award for Best First Fiction in 2017.
Her latest novel, Beautiful Revolutionary (2018), follows a young couple who join Jim Jones' Peoples Temple in late 1960s California. She is currently working on her next book, The Newcomer, a murder mystery set on a fictional island.
Miles Allinson is a writer and an artist. His paintings and installations have been appearing semi-legally in or on billboards, newspapers, laneways, answering machines, trams and underground car parks around Melbourne since 2003. Allinson's first novel, Fever of Animals, about the elusive Romanian surrealist Emil Bafdescu, won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript in 2014, and will be published this year.
Maria Katsonis is a writer, public policy wonk and vocal mental health advocate. Her memoir, The Good Greek Girl (2015) recounts her experience of mental illness and recovery, set against her escape from a traditional Greek upbringing when she came out as gay. Described by The Age as 'loving and intelligent', it was published in the UK as The Mind Thief (2016).
Maria co-edited Rebellious Daughters (2016), an anthology of memoir by Australian female authors and also contributed to Letters of Love (2017), letters from the heart penned by prominent Australians. She now lives with an ongoing mental illness and is a beyondblue Ambassador.
After seven years as a corporate lawyer in Melbourne and London, Eileen Ormsbythrew it in to become a freelance journalist and writer, with regular investigative features for the Age focusing on cybercrime, online privacy and illicit drugs. Finding her way into the murky underworld of the dark web in 2011, Ormsby became an active member of notorious underground black market Silk Road, gaining the trust of the website's operators and customers. She wrote Silk Road in real time, chronicling the rise and fall of the multi-million-dollar drugs empire as it happened, with input from the major players. Ormsby recently presented to an expert roundtable on drugs and the internet in Portugal, the output of which will inform EU drug policy.
Want to meet tomorrow’s literary stars today? Let us introduce you.
Our long-running Next Big Thing series is our showcase for great new local talent. You’ll hear emerging writers reading from bold and adventurous work. Enjoy a delicious drink and a bite to eat at the Moat, while your future favourite authors knock your socks off.