‘Young and emerging writers’ and the literary field

A one day symposium at the University of Canberra  |  Wed 27 Nov, 2013

Supporters: Copyright Agency Limited (CAL), Centre for Creative and Cultural Research (UC)

About the symposium:

Over the last fifteen years the term ‘Young and Emerging Writers’ has gained traction with a range of stake-holders in the Australian literary field. Literary arts bodies now support a range of organisations, festivals and publications that target writers described as ‘young’ and ‘emerging’, while some sectors of the publishing industry continue to demonstrate a clear interest in supporting new authors. Such initiatives are synchronous with the well-noted boom in student demand for writing courses since the Dawkins reforms, a major resurgence of independent and small press publishing, as well as the tendency of writers during this period to self-identify as ‘young’ and/or ‘emerging’. Although not without controversy, this latter development can be compared to the rise of the ‘new Australian writing’ of the 1970s, when a new generation of Australian writers refused the moniker of ‘young’ and were identified (and self-identified) with a new literary style.

Additionally, in a publishing context, writing for young adults is being increasingly seen by writers, both young and emerging, as an effective and viable entry point into the world of publication. The already fluid genre of Young Adult Fiction is being increasingly regarded as both a significant contributor to broader literary culture – with Young Adult writers shortlisted for significant literary awards such as the Miles Franklin, and with the creation of new, world-class competitive literary prizes for this field of writing, such as the $80,000 Prime Minister’s literary award category for Young Adult writing. This, combined with the capacity of new media to enable young and relatively inexperienced writers to establish effective, broad public profiles for themselves, has made publishing new and emerging voices an increasingly attractive proposition to traditional commercial publishers.

This symposium will bring together literary arts workers from key organisations with publishing and writing academics to discuss the questions at stake for the field of young and emerging writers.


10.30-12.00pm/Morning Session

‘Introduction and scoping study report: Young and emerging writers and the literary field’  Scott Brook (UC), Tony Eaton (UC) and Kavita Nandan (CDU)

Arts sector panel: Policies and programs:

  • Sam Twyford-Moore (Director, Emerging Writers Festival
  • Lefa Singleton Norton (Creative Producer, Express Media)
  • James Roy, (Literature Panel member, Australia Council for the Arts)

12.45-2.45pm/Afternoon session

‘Emergent Writing’  Ivor Indyk (UWS)

‘Zine culture: an analogue site of emerging writing’  Anna Poletti (Monash)

‘The Scene of Literature: Contemporary Literary Networks and the Producer-Consumer’  Emmett Stinson (MU)

Plenary (all symposium presenters)


The symposium is part of the 18th conference of the AAWP, with day registrations available for those who wish to attend just the symposium sessions. Further details: http://www.canberra.edu.au/faculties/arts-design/news/18th-aawp-conference-2013#903597