National Writers Conference: Murder They Wrote

Melbourne’s annual Emerging Writers Festival (EWF) takes place next month, and I have the great pleasure and privilege of chairing a panel at the EWF centrepiece, the National Writers Conference. As the EWF website puts it, ‘the National Writers’ Conference is the place to be for emerging writers hungry to hear from leaders in the field, develop their skills, and meet other excited word-nerds.’

The session I’m chairing is called ‘Murder They Wrote’ and features – wait for it – authors Melina Marchetta (also a conference ambassador), Jock Serong and Mark Brandi. I’m so damn excited, I could hyperventilate.

Melina Marchetta is, of course, a total legend, an award-winning and renowned author of young adult fiction. Her first foray into crime writing is the gripping novel, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil (possibly my favourite crime title of the decade), which I’m currently reading.

Jock Serong, as readers of this blog would know, is among my favourite contemporary Australian crime writers. His latest, The Rules of Backyard Cricket, made my list of top reads for 2016, and was also shortlisted for a Victorian Premiers’ Literary Award. His new novel, On the Java Ridge is next on my TBR pile.

Speaking of the Victorian Premiers’ Literary Awards, Mark Brandi’s debut novel, Wimmera, was highly commended as an unpublished manuscript, and won the prestigious UK Crime Writers Association Debut Dagger in 2016. In Wimmera, Mark pulls off the literary crime balance of pace and lyricism, with characters who hung around to haunt me long after I finished the book.

The program blurb for our session is:

Our best crime writers hold a mirror up to society, using crimes to illuminate our darker sides. How does great crime writing teach us fundamental truths about ourselves? Crime writers talk about writing unlikable characters, suspense, violence and deception.

Book tickets here. And check out the entire program for the EWF and National Writers conference here.

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About Angela Savage

Angela Savage is a Melbourne-based crime writer, who has lived and travelled extensively in Asia. Her first novel, Behind the Night Bazaar won the 2004 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript. She is a winner of the Scarlet Stiletto Award and has thrice been shortlisted for Ned Kelly awards. Her third novel, The Dying Beach, was also shortlisted for the 2014 Davitt Award. Angela teaches writing and is currently studying for her PhD in Creative Writing at Monash University.
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10 Responses to National Writers Conference: Murder They Wrote

  1. Oh, Angela, this sounds great! I’m sure it’ll be a big success. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to teach the attendees.

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  2. Sounds great. I’ve got to get a ticket.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Although I’m not a big crime reader I’m intrigued by your comment on Melina Marchetta’s foray into crime. (I love that meeting her makes you hyperventilate).

    Oh, and I laughed to see that the cover of Wimmera contains the back of a boy! (Not a woman – as has been the subject of much discussion in cyberspace in the last couple of years.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue, I think I’m going to have to start the session with the question of ‘Why crime?’ especially given Melina’s recent genre swap. I can’t tell you how many crime writers I’ve met who said they didn’t realise they were writing crime when they started their manuscripts, which I find intriguing. Does form follow substance, or is it the other way around?

      As for Wimmera, not only does the cover design deviate from the usual, but without giving too much away, it stands out for almost completely avoiding depicting women as victims. Beautifully written, too – I thoroughly recommend it.

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  4. Jo says:

    I’m interested in Melina Marchetta’s foray into crime – in fact, that’s a few new titles for me to try. Aaah to be in Melbourne…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. annelogan17 says:

    LOVE the title of your session, as a Murder She Wrote fan I get absurdly excited about throwbacks to that show

    Like

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