The Next Big Thing

View all events in this series

at The Moat

Real Talk Edition

A comical trip through the bureaucracy of local government. A memoir of adolescence lived alongside the heart-rending rollercoaster of a mother’s mental illness. A gap between an ex-policeman father and his artsy son, bridged by stories of colourful criminal hijinks.

In this edition of The Next Big Thing, we’ll hear excerpts from three darkly funny new books tackling the spaces between people, and how we make sense of them – plus a writer from Voiceworks, to be announced.

Katherine Collette will read from her big-hearted satire, The Helpline; Justin Heazlewood from his endearing light-and-shade memoir, Get Up Mum; and Paul Verhoeven from Loose Units, a vibrant and sensitive pursuit of lineage and understanding.

Readings will be our bookseller at this event.


Portrait of Stella Charls

Stella Charls

Stella is the Wheeler Centre's Programming Coordinator.

An emerging arts manager and event producer, Stella was previously the Marketing and Events Coordinator for Readings, and the Festival Manager for the National Young Writers’ Festival, Australia’s largest gathering of young and innovative writers working in both new and traditional forms.

Portrait of Justin Heazlewood

Justin Heazlewood

Justin Heazlewood is one of Australia’s most versatile storytellers. Music and comedy fans know him best as the ARIA award-nominated Bedroom Philosopher, a moniker under which Heazlewood has released several albums of incisive, brutally funny and often heartbreaking songs. Heazlewood is also a writer of journalism and essays – bringing humour and critical thinking to important issues such as mental illness, unemployment and the frailty of human relationships.

He has written two acclaimed books: the memoir The Bedroom Philosopher Diaries (2012), followed by Funemployed (2014), which focused on the ecstasies, horrors and realities of being a working artist. The latter earned praise from Tony Martin, Dave Graney and international writer Neil Gaiman, and featured interviews with over 100 local and international artists including Gotye (Wally De Backer), Clare Bowditch, John Safran, Tony Martin, Amanda Palmer, Christos Tsiolkas, Tim Rogers and Adam Elliot.

Portrait of Paul Verhoeven

Paul Verhoeven

Paul F. Verhoeven is a writer, broadcaster and entertainer. A mainstay of the Australian media landscape, he has written for ABC News Online, IGN, Smith Journal and Yen Magazine, and has spent years working extensively as a games journalist. After beginning his career hosting Weekend Breakfast on Triple J, he went on to host and write Steam Punks on ABC TV, and currently co-hosts the critically acclaimed podcast 28 Plays Later.

Portrait of Katherine Collette

Katherine Collette

Katherine Collette is a writer and sewage engineer living in Melbourne with her husband and two children. Her debut novel, The Helpline, is being published in Australia and New Zealand by Text Publishing in September and then in the UK, North America and Italy next year.

Portrait of Madison Griffiths

Madison Griffiths

Madison Griffiths is a writer, artist and poet whose work has been published in VICE, SBS, OverlandDaily Life, MeanjinKill Your Darlings, Catapult and Going Down Swinging, amongst others. She is also an online editor at literary youth journal Voiceworks and the co-host of’s newest mental health podcast, No Chill. Her work revolves predominantly around issues concerning women, mental illness, animals and race. 


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.