This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Factory, one of the world’s most beloved children’s books. Celebrations include the posthumous publication of a ‘lost’ early chapter of the book, and a Modern Classics adult edition of the book, with a controversial ‘creepy’ cover. We look at the celebrations, our attitudes to children’s books, the trend of posthumous publication of classic authors, and the wisdom (or not) of adult editions of children’s books.
Julia Gillard was sworn in as the 27th prime minister of Australia on 24 June 2010 and served in that office until June 2013. Previously, following the Australian Labor Party’s victory at the 2007 federal election, she served as deputy prime minister and Minister for Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Social Inclusion.
Award-winning artist Bindi Cole was born in 1975 in Melbourne, Australia. She studied at Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE and the University of Ballarat. Bindi is a resilient and ingenious Melbourne-born photographer, curator and new media artist with Wadawurrung heritage who speaks compellingly about taboo topics through her photographs, videos and installations.
The illustrated Heart of Darkness. Jeanette Winterson on her love for Kate Bush. The dos and don'ts of workplace swearing. Emily Perkins on Robyn Davidson’s Tracks and candour vs confession when it comes to memoirs. Lena Dunham’s New Yorker essay on anxiety and therapy.
We speak to novelist Jessie Cole about immersing herself in another world when she writes, being encouraged by Kate Grenville just before her first ever speaking gig, and being told by a reader that an event in her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, couldn’t have happened (with no evidence other than her personal experience to support the claim).
On the 10th anniversary of The Big Issue’s fiction edition, the magazine’s associate editor, Melissa Cranenburgh, reflects on the challenges and rewards of making (and selling) the edition. And she tells why it’s important that, unlike most short-story collections, it needs to sell copies in the thousands: because the magazine’s reason for existence is to enable homeless and unemployed people to make a living.
What’s it like to develop a big, one-off literary event, from scratch? What are the challenges and rewards of the process? And how exactly do you put on a literary pub crawl, with trams (and non-drinking elements), as part of a statewide literary festival? We talk to Vikki Woods, organiser of Lit Hop.
Join us on Indigenous Literacy Day, as we announce the winner of the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, one of the prestigious suite of Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards…
After a week in which too many good people died, Bronwyn Meyrick reflects on death, drawing on some very different books that debate the existence (and dubious comfort) of an afterlife, blending neuroscience and experience.
Alice Pung returns to her childhood suburb of Braybrook to reflect on education, advancement and paths out of poverty. Sharks are attacking the internet – really. Why memoir is not a status update. Science explains why the music of your adolescence will always be the best. Charlotte Wood shares the dos and don'ts of arts grants.
Mel Campbell published her first book, Out of Shape, last year. Since then, she’s been struggling with ideas of what it is to be a successful author … along with most of the other authors published in Australia. Here, she reflects on what it means to be in the ‘midlist’ right now: financially, personally and professionally.
Sebastian Fowler’s Bat the Raven is an all-ages graphic novel about an unusual little raven named Bat Ravensson, who stands out from his siblings because of his sticky-uppy head feathers, which make him look a bit like a bat, and has a rough time at school. We share a selection of his work-in-progress.
We’ll explore how theatre can combine politics and storytelling. With theatre director Sue Giles, visual artist Bindi Cole and chair Luke Hockey.
A series of interactive…
Rajith Savanadasa is writing a novel or collection of linked stories that re-interprets the semicircular stone slab known as a moonstone (or Sandakada Pahana) in Sri Lanka. It’s about a family living in Colombo, Sri Lanka at the end of the civil war in 2009. Each chapter’s from the perspective of a family member. This extract, written during Savanadasa’s time as a Hot Desk Fellow, is the mother’s chapter.
Dan Bledwich is a 29-year-old sex worker and writer who lives in Melbourne. During his Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship, he worked on his memoir, which covers being a ‘queer callboy’, and growing up in regional Australia in an environment of abuse, neglect, and intense schoolyard bullying. We share an extract today.
Remembering Robin Williams. Is creativity linked to mental illness, or is it a myth? Go behind the creation of a great book cover. James Franco’s short stories are now a Coppola film. And a photo-essay on Europeans who’ve chosen to live away from mainstream society.
We speak to crime writer, reviewer and lover of all things noir Andrew Nette about being paid for your literary labour, why the best advice for writers is to just get your first draft done, and why being a writer comes from deep down within a person – and you either have the hunger to do it, or you don’t.
The Wheeler Centre is Melbourne’s home for smart, passionate and entertaining public talks on every topic.
Across 200+ events each year, you’ll find some of our finest local and international thinkers and speakers, sharing their expertise, their imagination and their ideas.
The majority of events are free.
The Wheeler Centre is the centrepiece of the Victorian Government’s City of Literature initiative.
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