Meet the writers: Rebekah Clarkson

Rebekah Clarkson is a fiction writer, editor, mentor, sessional academic and teacher of creative writing. Her novel-in-stories, Barking Dogs (Affirm Press), is set in Mount Barker, South Australia. Her short stories have appeared in journals such as Griffith Review, Best Australian Stories, Australian Book Review and Something Special, Something Rare: Outstanding Short Stories by Australian Women (Black Inc.). Her stories have been recognised in major awards in Australia and overseas, including the ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, Fish Publishing Short Story Prize and Glimmer Train’s Fiction Open. She has a BA in Aboriginal Studies and an MA and PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide. She has taught short story writing at the University of Adelaide and at the University of Texas at Austin.

Rebekah will be delivering the closing address of the festival, on Sunday Nov 5 at 4pm. She will also be discussing ‘The Short Story Cycle’ with Lynette Washington on Saturday Nov 4 at 9:30am, and ‘On Being Edited’ with Andy Kissane on Sunday Nov 5 at 1:40pm. Book now.

Meet the writers: Susan Midalia

Susan Midalia is the author of three collections of short stories, all shortlisted for major Australian literary awards: A History of the Beanbag, An Unknown Sky and Feet to the Stars. Her first novel, The Art of Persuasion, will be published in 2018. Susan is also a freelance editor and an experienced facilitator of writing workshops, and is currently a board member of Margaret River Press and writingWA.

Susan will be conducting a workshop on Friday Nov 3 at 2pm – for more details click here.

On Saturday Nov 4 at 11:50am, Susan and Roanna Gonsalves will be discussing ‘Closure’ in short fiction, and on Sunday Nov 5 at 9:30am Susan will be joined by Lynette Washington for a session on ‘Deconstructing Structure’. Tickets available here.

Meet the writers: Lucy Durneen

Lucy Durneen is an English writer currently dividing her time between the UK and Australia. Her first collection of short stories, Wild Gestures, was published by MidnightSun in 2017, winning Best Short Story Collection at the Saboteur Awards in London in May. Her fiction, poetry and essays have been published across Europe, the U.S and Asia, and her creative non-fiction broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Lucy will be leading a workshop during the festival, on Friday Nov 3, at 2pm. Click here for more details.

On Saturday Nov 4 at 4pm, Lucy will join Stephen Pham in a discussion of the role of ‘The Outsiders’ in short fiction. Lucy will be discussing her award winning book of short stories, ‘Wild Gestures’ on Sunday Nov 5 at 11:50am. Book your festival pass here.

Meet the writers: Tony Birch

 Tony Birch is the author of Shadowboxing (2006), Father’s Day (2009), Blood (2011), The Promise (2014), Ghost River (2015) and Common People (2017). His novel, Blood, was shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin award, while Ghost River won the Victorian Premier’s award and was shortlisted for the New South Wales and Queensland literary awards.

Tony will running a workshop during the festival, on Friday Nov 3, at 10am. Click here for more details.

Tony will also be delivering the opening address of the festival, at 6:30pm on Friday Nov 3, and discussing his latest book of short stories, Common People, at 1:40pm on Saturday Nov 4. Tickets available here.

Program Launch!

The program for the second annual Australian Short Story Festival has been launched and it’s full of exciting and enriching sessions where writers talk about the wonderful short story craft, inspiration for their stories, use of humour and death. Check it out here. Come along to Adelaide in November and be part of the excitement.

2017 Australian Short Story Festival Media Release

good things come in short packages

On November 3-5 at the University of South Australia’s City West Campus, writers, storytellers and audiences will congregate to celebrate the short story. The Australian Short Story Festival is one of very few dedicated short story festivals in the world, and after a successful inaugural event in Perth in 2016, the organising committee is delighted to bring this unique and timely celebration to Adelaide, adding even more variety to the state’s annual suite of festivals.

One of the very few dedicated short story festivals in the world, the event will bring a wide range of diverse voices and stories to Adelaide, including award-winning UK writer Lucy Durneen and Tony Birch, who will deliver the festival’s opening address. Other featured writers include Chinese-Australian Melanie Cheng, Indian-Australian Roanna Gonsalves, Vietnamese-Australian writer Stephen Pham, and writer, comedian and creative director of the Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival Justine Sless.

Interwoven with these voices are some of the best established short story names such as 2016 Patrick White Literary Award winner Carmel Bird, New York Times bestselling author Sean Williams, Aurealis Award winner Lisa L. Hannett, alongside debut authors Lynette Washington and Rebekah Clarkson, who will deliver the festival’s closing address on the pleasures of the short story.

The 2017 Australian Short Story Conference is supported by Adelaide City Council, the University of South Australia, MidnightSun Publishing, Margaret River Press, and the SA Writers Centre.

Like a great short story, the 2017 Australian Short Story Festival will be bursting with life, passion and ideas. As for the question of what can come in short packages, ‘good things’ may just be an understatement.


Meet the writers: Stephen Pham

Stephen Pham is a Vietnamese-Australian writer from Cabramatta. He is a member of the Sweatshop Writers Collective and has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of New South Wales. Stephen’s work has appeared in Overland, The Lifted Brow, Seizure, The Big Black Thing and Right Now.

Most recently, he performed at Campbelltown Arts Centre for the 2017 Sydney Festival exhibition of Another Day in Paradise. He has also spoken on panels and performed readings at the Wollongong Writers’ Festival, the Emerging Writers’ Festival, the Newcastle National Young Writers’ Festival, Late Night Library, and the New South Wales Writers’ Centre.

Be sure not to miss this emerging writer as he joins us in Adelaide for this year’s festival. Tickets are available for purchase now.

Meet the writers: Melanie Cheng

Melanie Cheng is a writer and general practitioner. Of Chinese-Australian heritage, she was born in Adelaide, grew up in Hong Kong and now lives in Melbourne with her family. In 2016 she won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript. Australia Day is her first book.

Melanie will be joining us in Adelaide for the 2017 Australian Short Story Festival, so watch this space for our soon to be made program announcement, or purchase a festival pass today.

Meet the writers: Roanna Gonsalves

Roanna Gonsalves is the author of The Permanent Resident, an acclaimed collection of short fiction published by UWAP in November 2016. According to the award-winning Australian writer Michelle De Kretser, The Permanent Resident is “a brilliant fashioning of newness in the Australian literary landscape”. The Permanent Resident is being studied in the fields of Australian Literature, Postcolonial Literatures, and Creative Writing at a number of Australian universities. Roanna is a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia Asia Endeavour Award. She has a PhD from the University of New South Wales, and is an experienced creative writing workshop facilitator. She can be found at and on Twitter @roannagonsalves

We are excited to announce that Roanna will be joining us for sessions on Saturday November 4 & Sunday November 5. Stay tuned for further program details, or get in now to secure your festival pass!

Meet the writers: Carmel Bird

In 2016 the Patrick White Literary Award acknowledged Carmel Bird’s lifetime contribution to Australian writing. Carmel has been widely acclaimed for her seven collections of short fiction, as well as her nine novels and the many anthologies she has edited, including The Stolen Children and The Penguin Century of Australian Stories. Her most recent novel is Family Skeleton. Carmel has always been keen to embrace new technologies, being the first Australian writer to have a website (1997), and the first to produce an interactive CD with her novel Red Shoes (1998). At the Festival she will release as an ebook her new collection of stories, The Dead Aviatrix.

Carmel will also be running a workshop during the 2017 festival, on Friday November 3rd from 10am to 1pm. Click here for more information about the workshop, or here to secure your place now.

Stay tuned for further 2017 program announcements for more information about Carmel’s session times over Satuday 4th – Sunday 5th November.

Meet the team: Lynette Washington

Lynette Washington
Lynette Washington
Lynette Washington is a short story writer, editor and teacher of creative and professional writing. She holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Adelaide and her stories have been published widely. In 2014 she edited the short story collection, Breaking Beauty and in 2017 she was a co-editor for an anthology of love stories called Crush. Her debut collection, Plane Tree Drive, will be published in 2017.

Facebook: Lynette Washington – Author.

Twitter: @LynneTashi

The Australian Short Story Festival is an annual festival celebrating short stories in written as well as spoken form