Melina Marchetta

Sydney Writers’ Festival and The Emerging Writers’ Festival

I will be speaking at the Emerging Writers’ Festival (17-18th June) in Melbourne. Very excited about the sessions and the presenters. Especially excited to see Brodie Lancaster on the lineup.

So let me use Brodie to regress and talk about the Sydney Writers’ Festival.

Yesterday, alongside Pia Miranda, Mark Di Stefano(political editor of Buzzfeed) Genevieve Fricker (Triple J presenter and comic and musician) Rajith Savanadasa (Ruins and one of this year’s SMH best Young Australian novelists),  Yassmin Abdel-Magied (Jassmin’s Story, founder of Youth Without Borders, plus a thousand others things), Brodie delivered an amazing Have a Say Day speech at the 25th anniversary of Alibrandi at the Sydney Writers Festival. Josie Alibrandi would have known she was outclassed by all of them. I was very teary, to say the least. (Plus if you can get in a conversation about The Real Housewives of Melbourne or Sydney in the green room of a literary festival with Brodie Lancaster and Pia Miranda, you’ve sort of hit gold).

I was also part of the amazingly profound People of Letters with Pia, where we listened to Rajith exchange a letter with Melanie Joosten; Lee Lin Chin with Chris Leben; Anne Buist with Graeme Simsion; Trish Young with Jodi Phillis.  A bit teary there as well.

On Saturday morning I was on with Thomas Keneally, Meg Keneally and Candice Fox. I couldn’t help thinking of Melina Marchetta, twenty five years ago, being told that one day she’ll be on a panel with these people speaking about crime.

And finally, Sydney.  Home town. Great weather, and as my 5 year old said, “Look mum, the harbour bridge.’

Next, the Emerging Writers’ Festival.  Deep down I’ve been dying to get an invite for years. I love the idea of the EWF because I was very fortunate to get good advice in the early days of my publishing career.  I wasn’t as much young in years, as in experience so I had people like John Marsden and Isobelle Carmody and many others looking out for me.  So being there for the new writers on the block has always been important.

So quite an honour to be one of the ambassadors alongside the following.

Michelle Law (Sh*t Asian Mothers Say, Single Asian Female); Anna Krien (Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport, Into the Woods: The Battle for Tasmania’s Forests); Inga Simpson (Where The Trees Were, forthcoming Understory); and Dr. Rebecca-Anne Do Rozario (Monash University professor of fantasy literature).


17th – 18th of June, 9.30am-5pm.


State Library of Victoria, Conference Centre.


Full weekend, day passes and single event tickets are available now.