The Next Big Thing

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Illustration: Sarah Firth

at The Moat

The Next Chapter Showcase Edition

The Next Chapter is the Wheeler Centre’s scheme for writers – offering emerging writers from marginalised communities a mentorship with an established writer, access to professional development opportunities and industry connections. It exists to support and elevate Australia’s next generation of literary talent.

In this edition of The Next Big Thing, catch a glimpse of exciting new writing from The Next Chapter’s inaugural recipients, who’ve just completed their year in the scheme. Ennis Cehic, Lian Low, Ara Sarafian, Yamiko Marama, Jean Bachoura, Nayuka Gorrie, Adam Thompson, Evelyn Araluen and Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen will share readings from their works of fiction, non-fiction, memoir and young adult writing. Hosted by Wheeler Centre Programming Manager Veronica Sullivan.


Portrait of Lian Low

Lian Low

Lian Low writes across spoken word, fiction and creative non-fiction.  From 2009-2016, Lian was an editor and a board member of Peril Magazine. In 2015, Lian was a recipient of a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship and a City of Literature Travel Fund to travel to the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival and the Melaka Art and Performance Festival (Malaysia). Lian is an inaugural recipient of the Wheeler Centre's Next Chapter fellowship and currently working on a young adult speculative fiction novel.

Portrait of Yamiko Marama

Yamiko Marama

Yamiko Marama is a writer, therapist and food truck owner from Melbourne. An inaugural recipient of The Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter Fellowship, she is currently working on a debut memoir that explores family relationships, alongside growing up as an Australian woman of African heritage. Yamiko is also a contributor to the anthology Growing Up Queer in Australia.

Portrait of Nayuka Gorrie

Nayuka Gorrie

 Nayuka Gorrie is a Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri, and Yorta Yorta writer. Gorrie’s work explores black, queer and feminist politics. They wrote and performed in season three of Black Comedy. In 2018 they were named as a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter recipient, and are currently working on a book of essays.

Portrait of Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Australian writer and bookseller, and the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Feminist Writers Festival. She is a former Daily Life columnist, and has been featured in publications including Rookie, frankie, the Lifted Brow and Kill Your Darlings. 

Portrait of Ara Sarafian

Ara Sarafian

Ara Sarafian is an Armenian-Australian writer who lives in Melbourne. He writes comedy-fiction, commentary and satire. He has been published in The Lifted Brow, Kill Your Darlings and The Big Issue. He participated in the 2016 WrICE fellowship in China and was selected for the Wheeler Centre’s Next Chapter fellowship in 2018. He works as an editor at the ABC.

Portrait of Ennis Ćehić

Ennis Ćehić

Ennis Ćehić is a writer whose work focuses on ideas of displacement, creativity and existentialism.

His writing, including essays, fiction and memoir, has been published in a variety of literary journals and publications including Meanjin, Assemble Papers, Going Down Swinging and others.

In 2018 Ennis was selected as an inaugural recipient of the Wheeler Centres Next Chapter writers scheme by judges Christos Tsiolkas, Benjamin Law, Maxine Beneba Clarke and Ellen van Neerven. He was mentored by Nam Le.

Portrait of Jean Bachoura

Jean Bachoura

Jean Bachoura is an inaugural recipient of the Wheeler Centre’s scheme for writers, The Next Chapter. His work is reflective of a life lived between cultures: born in Damascus, raised in Syria, Lebanon and Australia. In 2016 he was awarded the Deborah Cass Prize for his piece 'Night Falls'. In 2017 he wrote 'No Man’s Land', an account of his journey crossing the border into Syria. In 2019, his multi-platform project TRETINOIN was awarded The Lifted Brow & RMIT non/fictionLab Prize for Experimental Non-fiction.

Portrait of Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson

Adam Thompson is an emerging Aboriginal (Pakana) writer from Launceston who writes contemporary, Aboriginal-themed short fiction. In 2017–18, he undertook a writing mentorship with established author Kate Gordon, funded by Arts Tasmania. Adam has received writing awards through the Tamar Valley Writers Festival (2016) and the Tasmanian Writers and Readers Festival (2017). He was awarded a First Nations Fellowship at Varuna House in 2018, and has had fiction published by literary magazines such as Kill Your Darlings. His debut short-story collection will be published by UQP.

Adam is passionate about the Aboriginal community and works full-time at the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Portrait of Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland literary journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry have been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund grant. Born and raised on Dharug Country, she is a descendant of the Bundjalung Nation.

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.