Featured Writers

Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.

Photo of a sandy beach at sunset

Over the last year, our Write-ability Goes Regional project has included a remit to uncover and showcase the work of some of Victoria's regional writers with disability.

Enjoy this extract from 'The line in the sand' by regional writer Amber Airey...


Map of Singapore

Gail M Shell was one five writers with disability who received a Write-ability Fellowship in 2015.

The Fellowships, a joint initiative of Writers Victoria and Arts Access Victoria, enabled Gail to work with mentor Lyndel Caffrey.

Enjoy this extract from Gail's manuscript - 'Tom and Annie's Story'...

Tom, you’re breathing wrong,’ Mr Campbell says. He stops playing the keyboard. ‘Babies move their stomachs as they breathe, not their chests; that’s something we learn as we get older, as we get lazy. It’s the diaphragm’s job. Can I show you?’

We’re gunna get out of here. That’s what Mum keeps saying. She’s in the kitchen, wearing a faded yellow dress, hands working quickly, slapping mayo onto cheap white bread.

‘We’re gunna get out of here,’ she says again, smiling with wonky teeth.

‘But I like it here,’ I tell her. She frowns and shakes her head.


Photo of The Colosseum

In 'Deafness Down', Michael Uniacke uses a Greek font to give the sensation to the reader of something said but not understood, an everyday experience for deaf people. This extract is part of Michael's memoir being launched in Castlemaine on Monday 14 March with the support of Write-ability Goes Regional. The protagonist is about 11 or 12 years old and trapped in a history class.

Hole in bitchumen road, almost in the shape of a heart

Sarah Widdup was a Write-ability Fellow in 2014. She was host and guest speaker at the Write-ability Salon (Nothing About Us, Without Us) at The Wheeler Centre in December 2015.

Meme that reads 'Without your health you have nothing' with 'nothing' crossed out

My neighbour's growling four-wheel drive reverses past our headboard. Thin walls and a driveway less than a metre from our bedroom negating any need for an alarm clock. Pavlovian instinct kicks in triggering my first curse of the morning. An unsteady hand extends from the covers. Sausage fingers stabbing at the screen turning off flight mode. If I squint and close one eye I can mostly deal with the little flashing light. The phone vibrates and messages by the dozen begin to arrive. It's too early. Pre-caffeinated me can't process that level of interaction.

Photo of a smiling Claire with blue hair

How do you define disability? What does it mean to you, and why?

For a long time I mostly saw disability through the eyes of an able-bodied person with little experience of that world, until I realised it was broader than I imagined and I belonged in it.  I had thought that disability would be obvious; there would be visual cues such as mobility aids, Auslan being used, white canes and service dogs - I thought that disability was mostly something you could see, which meant that chronic illness was illness, not disability.  That was then.

Photo of a staircase in shadow

Ashlee Bye was a Write-ability Fellow in 2015. She read this extract from 'Out of the Shadows' at the Write-ability Salon (Nothing About Us, Without Us) at The Wheeler Centre in December 2015.

Black and white photograph of Lia Incognita, wearing glasses

A storm blew through the poetry world last week when it was revealed that Yi-Fen Chou, one of the poets published in 'Best American Poetry 2015', was in fact the pen name of a white guy called Michael Derrick Hudson.

Despite numerous academic studies in the USA, Australia, Britain...