Featured Writers

Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.

The night was dark and hummed softly with static in the air. The faint warm glow emitted by the streetlights pulsed quietly through the rain as it slithered down from the purple grey sky. Their weak lights illuminated dark, cloaked figures as they glided across the footpaths into the promised warmth of closed doorways. A lazy wind draped itself against buildings and street signs with great, melodious sighs as the rain wet its back and slowed its progress.

A man walks into a parking building. He thinks about climbing to the next level but decides to take the lift. But the lift does not come. He longs for a cigarette. But he has run out. A glance around nets two butts, a metre away. One has at least two long puffs left in it. Rapture runs circles round him. He extends two long fingers, like tweezers, picks each of the butts up and secretes them in his pocket. 

Dear future reader, 

I imagine you are not too dissimilar from me when I was younger, just starting out and eager for knowledge. How did those writers who touched me with their words – changed me, even – weave their magic? 

If I make a conscious effort to observe my surrounds – not to look directly, but to concentrate on the periphery of my vision – I can discern the generous design of the person who hovers beside me. If I allow myself to deviate from what occupies me for just a moment longer, I can hear her imploring me with words that are muffled and unintelligible; sounds that are disconcerting and make me wish to escape, back to the tunnel vision that protects me from acknowledging such scenes and affords me time to finish what I have started; and cannot stop until finished. 

Photo of Carrie Fisher in a train carriage

On the event of her passing, I had a stark realisation (one seen only through clouding tears): that Carrie Fisher was my mental health icon, for at least a decade, if not longer. I am fast coming up to a decade of living with a diagnosis of Bipolar II, something I don't really think (or talk or write or tweet) about anymore – although here we are – because I’m so well medicated and supported that I sort of stink of sane.

Photo of Jessica Walton with pink hair

If you’d told me two years ago that I’d soon be the author of a picture book published in over ten countries, I’d have laughed.

I loved creative writing in school, and had won numerous writing competitions including an international poetry competition run by the Vatican, but I was eventually convinced that it wasn’t going to lead to any kind of career. I studied one year of journalism instead, but dropped out to do a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Arabic, and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. It was a long, fun and interesting road

Are you a digital native (the generation of people born during or after the rise of digital technologies) or a digital immigrant (people born before the advent of digital technology)?  Either way the internet moves so fast: it can be hard to remember a time when YouTube Videos were limited to ten minutes and you had to wait for them to buffer at 240p. 

For the 2016 Digital Writers' Festival, emerging writer Honor Eastly was part of an innovative and...

Digital Writers' Festival 2016

We all live in the internet. We see it, we breathe it, we create our lives in it. But it's changing and growing all the time, in big ways we can perceive, and in small ways we can’t.

For the 2016 Digital Writers' Festival, emerging writer Jessica Knight was part of an innovative and informative live streamed session titled 'The Internet We Imagine.' The panel...

Book cover of Me, Antman and Fleabag

Coverage of Indigenous and disabled writers is both sorely lacking and, largely, falsely homogenised in the current Australian literary market. This lack extends beyond the literary community and is a pervasive issue throughout all forms of mass media from television to film.

The talent is there, but access and categorisation with a focus on genre combine to exclude and limit readership of stories told by these groups. It was issues like these that were examined through  discussion of two works by Indigenous writers, Tony Birch and Gayle Kennedy, during...

Maxine Beneba Clarke

Can you tell me how being a woman writer has influenced your work?

And then, I feel it: on the women’s writing panel at every Australian festival. The momentary confusion. The invisibility. And sometimes, the anger and the grief. Mostly, I qualify the question. I’m a black woman writer, making work in Australia, for a largely white audience. Overtly political work. Most of my characters are black, and disenfranchised men and women. I can’t really think about being a woman writer, in isolation from that.

What I mean is: I don’t really understand your question. What I mean is:...