The Emerging Writers’ Festival online, 16 to 23 June

More than 150 talented artists and writers from across Australia are lining up to connect with audiences during the 2020 ‘Emerging Writers’ Festival’ (EWF), which will this year be broadcast in its entirety in the digital world, offering much needed support to the writing community during the recent and ongoing disruptions of the global Covid-19 pandemic, and through the difficulties of the changing tide of the arts industry. Read the profiles of the 2020 EWF participants here.

Artist Party – Sam Duckor-Jones. Photograph: Zack Ahmed. Courtesy Emerging Writers’ Festival, Melbourne

The EWF is a not-for-profit organisation. They support the skills and development of aspiring practitioners and provide them with a platform to showcase their accomplishments within their fields, crossing all forms of writing and genres.

“We are excited to be able to move forward with an online festival, as we feel that now – more than ever – it is vitally important to provide platforms for art and artists, and to also provide inspiration and opportunities to our audiences,” says Emerging Writers’ Festival (EWF) Artistic Director Ruby-Rose PivetMarsh.

From 16 to 23 June the EWF will celebrate the inspiring imaginations of a diverse range of storytellers with an online program of performances, workshops, virtual webinars, live streams, magazine launches and podcasts, alongside professional development opportunities. The EWF20 platforms include YouTube and Zoom, GOTOWEBINAR, GOOGLE HANGOUTS and Discord. Click here to learn more about the digital forums and how you can access them.

Amazing Babe. Photograph: Zack Ahmed. Courtesy Emerging Writers Festival, Melbourne

Here’s just a few calendar highlights
The Festival opens at 7pm on Tuesday 16 June with The Bogong: Blak Futures, which will see First Nations artists Travis De Vries, Emily Munro-Harrison and Tre Turner (Stone Motherless Cold) bring speculative visions for the future, from warnings to blueprints of blak futurism, to audiences via a free live-stream. Click here for more events on this day.

On Wednesday 17 June, writers Julia Rose Bak, Vanamali Hermans and Evelyn Araluen discuss the act of writing during a crisis in Lunchtime Literature from 12.30-1.30pm. Free Live-stream. Audiences can join the writers and editors of e/merge,for the launch of EWF’s brand new digital publication at 6pm, and at 8pm Kiss Me Thru The Phone shines the light on six artists sprinkling tales of love, loss, lust and longing, and some of the sweetest and naughtiest fantasies dreamt up in isolation. This performance is recommended for mature audiences (MA15+). Show your appreciation with ‘choose what you pay tickets’ from $5.

On Thursday 18 June from 7-8pm Amanda Anastasi, Alexandra Hollis, Maya Hodge and Folole Tupuola, explore the impact of the climate crisis with a free live-streamed presentation and performance for Creative Responses to Climate Crisis. Discover what its like to publish your first book on Friday 19 June from 7-8pm when three of Hatchette’s Debut Authors, Mandy Beaumont, Sam Coley and Ruth McIver share their experiences. Free.

EWF20 Ambassadors Amy McQuire, Omar Sakr, JP Pomare and Carrie Tiffany, will share their own creative journeys with a new generation of writers at the launch of the National Writers’ Conference on Saturday 20 June. This one-day event is a chance to gain industry insight from over 20 artists and publishing professionals and get involved in the unique networking opportunities the conference presents. Purchase tickets here.

On Sunday 21 June at 7pm First Stage presents four new playwrights and a fresh take on work for the stage. Actors Nazaree Dickerson, Grace Feng Fang Juan, Artemis Munoz and Anisa Nandaula perform dramatic readings of the emerging playwrights’ new works. Free.

The festival ends on 23 June with an Auslan interpreted presentation of Amazing Babes from 7-9pm. Artists Veronica Gorrie, Maya Hodge, Raelee Lancaster, Alice Skye and Adut Wol, honour the ‘babes’ who inspire and continue to uplift us through our lives, from the familial to the fictional and beyond. Bring a drink to toast the peeps who help you shine then put your dancing shoes on and get ready to be part of bringing the EWF to a close with a special DJ set from Papiwhatsgood. Choose what you pay.

The ‘Emerging Writer’s Festival’ for 2020 is huge! The full program is ready to explore on the website, and although many of the free workshops are already booked there’s plenty to get involved with. If you’d like to receive the EWF’s Daily Write to stay in the loop, sign up here. Enjoy!