I recently had the great pleasure of hearing Melanie Cheng speak at the opening of the Emerging Writers Festival. Her speech was just what I needed to hear that night, an exhortation — albeit modest and self-deprecating — to persist with writing, to not let yourself be defeated. I met Melanie later that night and read her award-winning collection of short stories, Australia Day, over the following week. Again, it felt like almost magical timing: Melanie’s thoughtful, often sparkling stories were just what I needed. Since she has blogged her EWF address, I’m taking the opportunity to share it here so that other writers might feel inspired, as I did. I also highly recommend Australia Day for inspiring, beautiful and intelligent writing.
Last month I had the privilege of speaking at the opening night of the Emerging Writers’ Festival. This is a transcript of my speech.
Thank you Izzy and congratulations Christian, you have a wonderful ride ahead of you. First and foremost I would like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which we have gathered tonight. I pay my respects to Elders past and present and I extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are in attendance tonight.
It’s hard to believe it’s been one year since I stood on this stage and accepted my award. If you had told me in early 2016 that I would have a book coming out in 2017, I never would have believed you. But I never would have believed that Donald Trump would be president of the United States either. Real…
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