Featured Writers

Short stories, features and poems from our writing community.

Photo of Susan Mackenzie with her dog

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.

Here Susan Mackenzie challenges the perception that 'Young People Don't Get Sick'.

A photo of shallow water on sand

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 Christian's story, 'Three little ducks'...

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'...

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.

Photo of Harriet Gaffney in front of patterned wallpaper

Writers Victoria’s Write-ability program has been built around the importance of self-told stories, disability leadership and peer support — creating opportunities for even the quietest voices to be heard.

Now in its third year, Write-ability has grown to include a regional focus with Geelong-based Harriet Gaffney as our first regional project officer.

Photo of Jax-Jacki Brown in her wheelchair

Five writers with disability will receive six hours of free mentoring with authors, assessors and industry experts through the third annual Write-ability Fellowships announced this week.

Fellowships were awarded to writers working in a range of styles and genres, including creative fiction, memoir and non-fiction journalism.

Emerging writer Naomi Fryers will work with outgoing Director of the Emerging Writers Festival, Sam Twyford-Moore, over the next two months.

Photo of Deborah Cass

Emerging Victorian writers from migrant backgrounds are invited to apply for the new Deborah Cass Prize.

The granddaughter of Jewish immigrants, Deborah Cass became a prize-winning professor of International Law at the London School of Economics. On learning that she had cancer, Deborah left her academic career to focus on creative writing. She had a number of short fiction pieces published, but was unable to realise her aim to complete a novel.

With generous support from family and friends, this prize aims to help someone from a migrant background find a voice for themselves...