Women in Literary Arts Australia is an initiative borne from an industry round table held at the Emerging Writers’ Festival in 2014. At the round table, women from all aspects of writing, publishing and literature met to discuss the state of the industry and the barriers women face. The participants produced this manifesto, which was presented at the closing night of the festival.


One of the key things that emerged from the meeting was a lack of centralised information and formal networks for women writers. Lots of exciting initiatives and organisations existed, but there was no one-stop-shop to find out about them or any one individual hub looking at the intersecting ways women writers need support.


WILAA is an attempt to remedy this. From networking opportunities, mentorships, events, workshops and marketing campaigns, we will endeavour to find practical ways to support women to excel.


We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” and we welcome trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people.


On this website you will find links to organisations, initiatives, competitions and resources for women writers. If you know of other relevant resources please drop us a line and we’ll keep updating it.

The Women in Literary Arts Australia Steering Committee

Eloise Brook

Eloise is a writer, advocate and academic who has written for The Guardian, The Conversation, Overland and Archer Magazine. She is on the board of directors for the Gender Centre and has a particular interest in improving the way trans-people are reported on in the Australian media and portrayed in Australian drama. Eloise is an experienced script writer for theatre and television. She has also lectured in creative writing, PR and Media Writing at Victoria University.<br /> Currently, Eloise is a researcher at Western Sydney University, expanding the much needed conversation on transgender children.


Kate Callingham

Kate has been the General Manager of the Emerging Writers' Festival since 2013. Prior to this she has worked at Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne International Film Festival and the Melbourne Art Foundation. Passionate about sustainable business models in the arts sector, Kate is currently completing a Masters of Business Administration.


Lisa Dempster

Lisa is the Artistic Director/CEO of the Melbourne Writers Festival. She was the Director/CEO of the Emerging Writers’ Festival (2010–2012), and founder of its innovative online programming arm, EWFdigital (now Digital Writers Festival). In 2012 Lisa undertook an Asialink residency, working in programming at Ubud Writers & Readers Festival in Indonesia. Before becoming an arts manager, Lisa was a writer, editor and the publisher at Vignette Press.


Eugenia Flynn

Eugenia is a writer, social commentator, freelance producer and arts worker. She has facilitated the 2012 RISE Festival for RISE Refugees, Survivors and Ex-Detainees as well as been Assistant Curator on Blak Dot Gallery's Both Sides of the Street exhibition. Eugenia runs the blog Black Thoughts Live Here and she has been published in Crikey, The Guardian Australia, The Conversation, Peril Magazine, VICE Magazine, HYSTERIA (UK) and The Victorian Writer. She identifies as Aboriginal (Tiwi and Larrakiah), Chinese Malaysian and Muslim, working within her multiple communities to create change through writing, art, politics and community development.


Amaryllis Gacioppo

Amaryllis is a writer currently undertaking a joint PhD in creative writing at Monash and the University of Bologna. As Women in Literary Arts Coordinator at the 2015 Emerging Writers' Festival, she curated and produced #writingwhilefemale, a day-long event dedicated to women in the writing industry. Her work has appeared in journals and anthologies across Australia, the U.S, and the U.K.


Andrea Hanke

Andrea is editor-in-chief of Australian book industry publication Books+Publishing. She has been working in the book industry as an editor, journalist and bookseller for 10 years.


Lian Low

Lian is a writer, editor and spoken word artist. She is currently Chair for Asian-Australian arts and culture magazine Peril, previously editor-in-chief (2010-2014) and prose editor (2009-2014). In March 2015, Lian collaborated on the performance text for the sold out premiere of Do you speak Chinese? held at the Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne. She recently completed a residency at the Wheeler Centre as a Hot Desk Fellow, and was a featured writer in The Wheeler Centre’s Next Big Thing: Hot Desk Edition (September) series. Lian returns to the Melaka Art and Performance Festival for the third time this year, and her travel is supported by Melbourne’s UNESCO City of Literature Office Travel Fund initiative.


Amy Middleton

Amy is a Melbourne-based journalist, writer and founding editor of Archer Magazine, an award-winning print publication featuring diverse attitudes to sexuality and gender. Amy has written and edited for publications including Australian Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Junkee, Meanjin, The Lifted Brow, The Big Issue, Cosmos and The Bulletin. She has a radio show on 3CR community radio in Melbourne, and she was named among Gay News Network's Top 25 People to Watch in 2015. In her spare time, she plays AFL and collects interesting editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.


Kirsty Murray

Kirsty is an award-winning author of nineteen books for children and young adults, including eleven novels. She has been a Creative Fellow of the State Library of Victoria, an Asialink Literature Resident in India, and a guest speaker at many international writers’ festivals. Kirsty is also an Ambassador for the Stella Prize in School’s Program and co-editor of the ground-breaking Indian-Australian anthology of feminist speculative fiction 'Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean'.


Marisa Pintado

Marisa is the publisher for children’s and young-adult fiction at Hardie Grant Egmont. She works with a variety of award-winning and best-selling authors including Sally Rippin, Em Bailey, Melissa Keil,<br /> Peter Helliar, and Erin Gough. She also recently spent a year in London with Egmont UK’s children’s fiction team. In 2011, Marisa started the Ampersand Prize for debut novelists, which has rapidly gained recognition as Australia’s leading award for unpublished writers. The Ampersand Prize has launched the careers of numerous YA authors, including the latest winner, Cally Black, who will publish her debut novel In The Dark Spaces in 2017.


Roselina Press

Roselina is the Editor-in-Chief of Right Now, a human rights media organisation. She is a Master of International Relations graduate, and is also completing a Master of Human Rights Law. She co-edited Right Now’s inaugural anthology, titled Poetic Justice: Contemporary Australian Voices on Equality and Human Rights, which was a finalist for the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2014 Literature Award. She has written for Reuters, The Guardian and the United Nations Department of Public Information.


Lefa Singleton Norton

Lefa is the founder of WILAA. She is a writer, editor and producer from Melbourne. Lefa is the co-editor of Green Agenda, a publishing project of the Green Institute, and was the Creative Producer at Express Media (2011-2014). Her writing can be found in the book anthologies The Emerging Writer and The Noobz, and in publications including SBS, The Big Issue, and Overland.

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