A room of one’s own, a little divine inspiration, a dash of perspiration, a strong cup of coffee, and the ability to remain wholly undistracted by the internet – is that what it takes to write, or is there something else to it?
Streaming live from Bendigo Writers Festival, Emily Sexton talks to Alli Sinclair, Fleur Ferris, Luke Carman and Alicia Sometimes about how they make the writing life work – including getting started, finding their way, and riding the waves without going under.
Emily Sexton is a former Head of Programming for the Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
She was the recipient of a prestigious Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship in 2014. Previously, she was Artistic Director of Next Wave (2010–14), where her key achievements were a radical rethink of an arts festival model, and a series of landmark commissions, publications and talks featuring First Nations artists, co-curated with Tony Albert and Tahjee Moar and titled Blak Wave.
In 2013, she was Artistic Director of the Ian Potter Cultural Trust’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations at the Melbourne Recital Centre. She was also Creative Producer for Melbourne Fringe Festival for 2008–10.
Emily has been a proud Board Member for Arena Theatre Company, Snuff Puppets and Theatre Network Victoria, and is alumnus of the Australia Council’s Emerging Leaders Program (2011). She is a regular peer assessor for the Australia Council for the Arts, Creative Victoria, and other philanthropic trusts and foundations. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications, English) from the University of Sydney (2005). She is a regular host and facilitator for writers’ festivals and arts organisations around Australia.
Alli Sinclair is a multi-award winning author who writes about romance, dance, and mystery. Her latest book is Luna Tango.
Fleur Ferris is an Echuca-based writer who grew up on a farm in Patchewollock, north-west Victoria, and now lives with her family on rice farm near Echuca. Her first YA novel, Risk, is published by Random House in July.
Luke Carman is the author of An Elegant Young Man, which won the 2014 NSW Premier's New Writing Award and was shortlisted for the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal, the Steele Rudd Short Story Prize and the Readings New Writing Award. He was named a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist in 2014. His new book is Intimate Antipathies, a collection of essays on the writing life, published by Giramondo in June 2019.
Alicia Sometimes is an Australian writer and broadcaster. She has performed her spoken word and poetry at many venues, festivals and events around the world. Her poems have been in Best Australian Science Writing, Best Australian Poems, Overland, Southerly, Meanjin, the Age, ABC TV's Sunday Arts and more. She is a co-host of the Outer Sanctum podcast (ABC podcasts and radio).