The Writing Life

Information, inspiration and insights into the writing life

Member Milestones

Writers Victoria particularly loves being able to share the successes and writing milestones of our members. Read below for our member milestones for January 2022, where you can click through on each of the links to find out more.



The Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship

Ten writers have been shortlisted for the 2022 Hazel Rowley Literary Fellowship, now worth $20,000.

‘We had an extremely strong field of applications this year, with a wide range of biographical subjects. This made the shortlisting hard,’ said Della Rowley, Hazel’s sister.  ‘We received a large number of high-quality proposals. Perhaps as a result of COVID-19 lockdowns, writers were busy thinking about good topics for biographies.

A photo of Eugen Bacon

Eugen Bacon is an African Australian writer specialising in Speculative Fiction, Dystopia, Dark Fantasy and Afrofuturism whose work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted and commended in numerous awards.

David Hunt is an unusually tall and handsome man who likes writing his own biographical notes. He is the author of the bestselling Girt and True Girt, as well as two books for children. David is also a television presenter and podcaster, and has a birthmark that looks like Tasmania, only smaller and not as far south.

Emily Riches

Emily Riches is a writer and editor from Mullumbimby. She now lives and works in Sydney, on unceded Gadigal land. She founded Aniko Press in 2020 to support emerging writers. Her own work has appeared in a range of Australian journals and publications including Meniscus, Visible Ink, Verge, Southerly and Spineless Wonders. 

Writers Victoria intern Ethan Lewis spoke to Emily about her role at Aniko Press and all the processes, struggles and triumphs of starting her own journal from the ground up.



A stylised graphic in shades of green that features the text '2022 Season 1 Program'

To start the flow of creative juices for this introductory piece to the Writers Victoria 2022 Program, I went back to the end of 2020 to see what words of wisdom I’d had for the beginning of 2021. Conclusively proving I haven’t a prescient bone in my body, I wrote of eased restrictions and falling numbers, re-entering and re-engaging with the world. It was a hopeful and optimistic piece that spoke of the many ways that the past can mark us and how we carry those marks on our bodies into the future. It also strongly delineated between the then and the now.

A photo of a laptop with various people in squares on the screen as if they are in a Zoom session; and houseplant to the right and in front of it, with green leaves and vines. The plant is in focus and the laptop is slightly blurred in the background.

When Covid-19 arrived, the writing community searched for an alternative to in-person events. This led to widespread use of video conferencing, opening up the literary world to a much wider audience. As we move forward with Covid-19 and the writing community increasingly returns to in-person activities, are we in danger of losing a crucial insight?


The Deborah Cass Prize for Writing

At an online awards ceremony held last night, 17 November, the 2021 Deborah Cass Prize for Writing was awarded to Bryant Apolonio for his story ‘Independencia’.

Apolonio, a Filipino-Australian writer and lawyer living on Larrakia Land (also known as Darwin), was chosen as the winner of the Prize from a shortlist of nine writers. Bryant receives $3,000 and a mentorship to assist in further development of his work.

Emily Bitto

Emily Bitto is a Melbourne-based writer of fiction, poetry and non-fiction. Her debut novel, 'The Strays', was the winner of the 2015 Stella Prize. Her fiction, poetry and non-fiction has appeared in various publications, and she has been teaching creative writing for over a decade. Her second novel 'Wild Abandon' was published to acclaim in September 2021.

Fiona Murphy

Fiona Murphy is an award-winning deaf poet and essayist based in the Blue Mountains, NSW. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Age, Kill Your Darlings, Overland, The Saturday Paper, Griffith Review, The Big Issue, among many other publications. Her debut memoir, ‘The Shape of Sound’, was released by Text Publishing in March 2021.

Fiona spoke to Writers Victoria intern Amy Bullow about her stunning debut ‘The Shape of Sound’ and her thoughts on the process of putting together short and long-form work.