The Emerging Writers’ Festival
Posted 15 June 2017
The festival mixes emerging literary professionals with more established writers to forge a better understanding between the past and future of Australian writing, and to bring a high level of intellectual endeavour to all the festival’s activities.
“Our festival aims to support grassroots writing by providing a place to showcase the amazing diversity of work that new Australian writers are creating. At the… Emerging Writers’ Festival, authors outside the mainstream can present their writing without the normal boundaries of literary fashion or favour. It’s a great opportunity for readers too, to hear fresh work from the best writers they haven’t heard of – yet.” Richard Watts, Inaugural festival director, Emerging Writers Festival 2004.
Since its creation in 2004 the festival has grown from a small press fair and weekend writers’ conference into a 10-day festival with performance events, readings, book launches, panels, social media events and a small press fair. The growth of the Emerging Writers’ Festival has been mirrored by the recognition of Melbourne as the second UNESCO City of Literature in 2006.
This year the festival is excited to add several new initiatives to its program including the Zine Bus, Twitterfest and the Write What You Know panels to existing audience favourites like Wordstock, The First Word, 48 Hour Play Generator and the Melbourne Town Hall Program. It will also be publishing the second edition of The Reader, distributed nationwide it is a resource for writers that includes a collection of stories and experiences from both established and emerging writers, publishers, editors and other literary movers and shakers. The festival is also proud to be one of the resident organisations in the newly opened Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.
Although the Emerging Writers’ Festival has grown it still remains the festival for writers. Its key aim is to provide writers with the opportunity to develop professionally through a range of programs that go beyond those offered by writers’ centres, tertiary institutions and other organisations. By fostering literary talent in this way, it is helping to build the future of Melbourne as a City of Literature.