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The Pen Pal Project


Event Status

Dear Mr Toad,

Don’t be afraid to cull toxic and negative friendships. Mole, Rat and Badger are dull, draining and irrevocably basic. You can do so much better.

What would you say if you could write to your favourite literary character? What advice would you offer to Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights or Toru Watanabe from Norwegian Wood? How would you convey your love to Hermione Granger or Atticus Finch? And what would they write back?

In partnership with the Digital Writers’ Festival, we’re setting you up with the literary pen pal of your dreams. You’re invited to email your favourite fictional character, or even your favourite book, and you’ll receive a creative response from the addressee. Pick their brains, rake them over the coals, propose marriage and ask your burning questions.

A team of the brilliant 2018 Wheeler Centre Hot Deskers will be the project’s official pen-pal ghost-writers, taking on the personas of your favourite characters and haunting your inbox.

This form is now closed – if you have submitted an email, you will receive a reply as soon as possible.

Presented in partnership with the Digital Writers’ Festival.


Melissa Manning

Melissa Manning’s short fiction and literary non-fiction has been widely published, including in Award Winning Australian Writing, Best Small Fictions (US), To Carry Her Home (UK), Overland, the Big Issue, and Tasmania 40°South. She was awarded a Varuna Residency Fellowship to work on her novel, ... Read more

Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is a poet and essayist. Her work has appeared in the Griffith Review, Kill Your Darlings, Overland and the Big Issue, amongst others. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the Dorothy Porter Award for Poets. In 2018, she was awarded an inaugural Writers Victoria Publishability Fellowship a... Read more

Ra Chapman

Ra is an actress, theatre maker and writer. She has recently been selected for the 2018 Cinespace/Film Victoria StoryLab Program, and was a member of the 2017 Besen Writers Group at Malthouse Theatre. Ra was adopted from Busan, South Korea at age four and was reunited her birth father six years ago.... Read more

Jem Tyley-Miller

Jem Tyley-Miller is a crime writer from Bacchus Marsh who sees life through a magical realist lens. You can read her fiction in Spike, the Meanjin blog, or in the upcoming Margaret River Press anthology, We’ll Stand in That Place and Other Stories. She has also written for Readings and the Digita... Read more

Ella Skilbeck-Porter

Ella Skilbeck-Porter is a poet and writer from Sydney. She is interested in the relationship between image and text, chance operations and translation. Her work has appeared in Rabbit, Cordite, Southerly, UTS Writers’ Anthology, Otoliths and other publications. 

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the traditional owners of the land on which we work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, past and present.