at Carriageworks, Elston RoomCancelled

Sydney Writers’ Festival: Writing Blak

This event has been cancelled as part of Sydney Writers' Festival's preventative measures to stem the spread of coronavirus COVID-19. 

Find out more about our response to the coronavirus situation here.

First Nations writers are at the forefront of the most exciting writing being produced on this continent today. Four emerging First Nations writers from The Next Chapter writers’ scheme – Jasmin McGaughey, Racheal Oak Butler, Lorna Munro and Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi – discuss the creative process, writing for Blak and settler readerships, and how they respond to expectations of genre, character and identity.

Across poetry, spoken word, young adult writing, short stories, memoir, essays and experimental forms, these writers are subverting creative forms and decolonising Australian literature.

Presented in partnership with Sydney Writers’ Festival.


Portrait of Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, educator and researcher working with Indigenous literatures at the University of Sydney. Her work has won the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize and a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship. Born, raised, and writing in Dharug country, she is a Bundjalung descendant.

Portrait of Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi

Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi

Meleika Gesa-Fatafehi is a proud Black/Indigenous, Pasifika and West Asian writer. Their mob is from Murray (Mer) Island, from the Zagareb and Dauareb tribes. Meleika is also a literature and film critic; you can find her rambling at Endless Yarning, RadioNZ and NerdyPoC. She loves talking about all things nerdy, as well as decolonising spaces online and in real life. Meleika is a 2019 Next Chapter Recipient. 

Portrait of Jasmin McGaughey

Jasmin McGaughey

 Jasmin McGaughey is a Torres Strait Islander from the Kulkalgal Nation, and African American. She completed her undergraduate degree in psychology and justice in 2016, but quickly realised her love was writing. She recently finished her Masters of Writing, Editing and Publishing through the University of Queensland. Currently, she works at black&write! as an Editor Intern at the State Library of Queensland. Jasmin’s passions have always been reading and writing and she is proud to be able to work and learn in this field with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander literature. Jasmin is a 2019 Next Chapter recipient.

Portrait of Racheal Oak Butler

Racheal Oak Butler

Proudly Gamilaroi, Racheal Oak Butler is a writer, performer, musician and self-defence teacher. Racheal has been writing for many years and has amassed a significant body of work including poetry, short stories, songs, performance and spoken word pieces.

Racheal recently toured a spoken word piece, ‘My Calling’, as part of the Queerstories performances throughout Victoria and NSW. She is currently working with Ilbijerri Theatre Company as a performer in Scar Trees.

Writing is fundamental to who Racheal is and although the message is sometimes raw and traumatic, it is also unique, powerful and truthful and goes to the heart of many key issues and experiences. She is a is a 2019 Next Chapter recipient.

Portrait of Lorna Munro

Lorna Munro

Lorna Munro is a proud, young Wiradjuri/Gamilaroi woman. This dynamic and upcoming writer and poet calls the Redfern/Waterloo area home. She has been strongly influenced and nurtured by her activist parents, and mentored by many other members of the Black Power Movement, who she affectionately refers to as her Aunties and Uncles.

In 2012 Lorna graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts in Adult Education and Community Management. She has joined Koori Radio 93.7FM 2LND, broadcasting with her mother, Jenny Munro on the ‘Poetry, Politics and Petitions’ program, every Sunday 12-2pm. Lorna has had work published in the Southerly Literary Journal and is currently writing her own script that is yet untitled. She is a 2019 Next Chapter Recipient.

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