For the month of November, we are running our annual open call out for EWF 2016 (which you can find out more about here). We talked to some of this year’s amazing participants about their experience, which writers they are excited about at the moment, and what they’ve been up to since EWF15.

Adeline Teoh a freelance writer and content developer who is working on her first novel. At EWF15 Adeline was a panelist on the Unlikely Paths panel as part of the National Writers’ Conference.

Did you have any particular highlights at EWF15?

I always enjoy the readings and the engagement that happens on panels but I have to say in 2015 the highlight was ‘In Conversation with Clementine Ford’. I don’t always agree with what she says but I think her beliefs come from a good place and I find her work is always consistent with her ideology. I have a lot of respect for her, and the event was a good way to showcase her work, the issues she has to deal with every day, and her integrity.

As well as participating in the EWF, you’ve worked on the Sydney Writers’ Festival – what do you think some of the benefits of writers’ festivals are for emerging writers?

Firstly it’s a nice way to meet other writers. Writing is a solitary activity, so any chance to form collegiate bonds is welcome.

Secondly, the diversity of writers in the ‘emerging’ space is so broad and it’s good that festivals give them the opportunity to speak to an audience about their work. In the past, writers’ festivals have been a privileged space reserved for literary figures and bestselling authors but now across the board there has been a shift towards inviting writers who are doing interesting things rather than restricting guests to ‘the canon’.

What have you been up to since EWF15?

I had a big think about where I was going with my freelancing career because my clients are generally in the business, project management and security space but none of those things are my passion. So since EWF15 I’ve managed to pivot and become a tea writer because I love tea and never thought I’d be able to write about tea and get paid for it, but I found a way!

Who are some of the writers and artists that you’re excited about at the moment?

Ah, so many. But if I had to name just a few it’d be:

Nakkiah Lui: I will go to her panels and watch her plays without even looking at what they’re supposed to be about.

Liam Pieper: He’s really found his voice in the last couple of years and I just know his future work will be next-level stuff.

Stephanie Lai: Incredibly articulate about cultural appropriation and intersectionality, and also well read about speculative fiction.

Patrick Lenton: I’ve been following Patrick since ‘Sexy Tales of Paleontology’ staged at the Sydney Fringe Festival, and I’m glad he’s a name among young and emerging writers. He’s quite versatile with his short stories, plays and blogging… though I am waiting for another play out of him.

Can you tell us about the last book you read and loved, and what’s currently on your to-read pile?

I just finished Jon Ronson’s ‘The Psychopath Test’, which I picked up off a library display during Mental Health Week. I also enjoyed his most recent work ‘So You Have Been Publicly Shamed’. He’s incredibly easy to read without being glib and he’ll give you enough insight on a topic for you to formulate your own opinion on something without beating you over the head with his.

I also loved reading Garth Nix’s ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ series for its masterful worldbuilding.

My to-read pile is always very long, especially as I have a Kindle and tend to just buy books whenever I feel the impulse. But my next fiction read will probably be ‘The Three-Body Problem’ by Liu Cixin and my next non-fiction read is certainly a tea book, probably ‘Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties’ by The Camellia Sinensis Tea House.

What have you been working on lately?

I’m supposed to be editing a report for a foreign exchange company but I just opened a new tab on my tea blog to review ‘T2: The Book’…

Where can we read some of your writing?

If you have a burning desire to learn about project management issues, check out Project Manager, or if your topic of choice is security, look out for Australian Security Magazine. My other writing is locked away in ghostwriting contracts and scattered around the interwebs under other people’s names. But my tea blog is reasonably well loved, and I’ve started tending my personal blog more often.

Have you got any advice for other emerging writers?

Remember why you want to write and the path becomes clearer. It can get confusing when money, fame, and even the idea of ‘being a writer’ is involved but if you have the reason in front of you, you’ll understand what your writing needs from you (and what you need from your writing).

Applications are now open and will close at 5pm (AEST) on the 26th of November, 2015. Successful applicants can expect to hear from us in late January, 2016*. The 2016 Emerging Writers’ Festival will take place in Melbourne from June 14-24.

Click here to apply!