We’ve been introducing all the amazing people who make up the 2024 EWF Team!! This week, meet Megan! They are our brand new Operations Manager for EWF 2024. We sat Megan down to ask our burning questions.

Hi Megan! We’re so excited to have you on the team for EWF24 as Operations Manager! Before we get into it, we’d love to know a little bit more about you – tell us about yourself! 

Aw thanks, I’m delighted to be here! I’ve been a big fan of EWF for a while, looking at the work achieved here, and everyone doing the work, with awe and a deep desire to be more involved. I have impressive shoes to fill after Flo, who I had the pleasure of working with as a volunteer in 2022 and then as Front of House staff last year. I’m buzzing with joy and the kind of subtle, useful fear that makes me know I really care! 

And a little bit about me … I’m Megan, hey! I’m an emerging writer mostly working on fiction + some exclusive love poetry for my girlfriend, an editor and a contemporary dancer/choreographer which as well as making work and performing for other artists has seen me doing things like a radio show called Land Swimming that helped listeners to swim on land and feel close to water during lockdowns (a while ago now!). I’ve also been giving community organising a go, moved to act for Palestine. I live on Wurundjeri land, and grew up on Noongar Boodjar, in Walyalup. Always was Always will be, Aboriginal Land. 

So, what drew you to joining the EWF24 team? 

Truthfully, I’ve had my eye on EWF for a while. Initially just a soft eye gently holding the vicinity of EWF in its sights as an area where I’d like to work, close to clusters of people working with storytellers and stories. Then I started attending EWF events and began helping with the festival, and I saw how unique EWF is. My now sharpened eye also began speaking to me, saying: ‘Megan, Megan, EWF would be an incredible place to work! All those the skills you’d learn and that talented team! And you could work in the arts in a way that aligns with your ethics!’

I listened to the eye 😉 

And what are you hoping to get out of the role?

I want to learn how to be the best operations manager I can be, which sounds cheesy but is true. I want to be a sponge and ask lots of questions. If I may zoom in on something tiny that I’m presently fixated on: I’d like to become a master of spreadsheets – there’s some truly enviable spreadsheet skills in this office.

I also want to meaningfully connect with as many people as I can, those working with EWF or for other literary orgs in the building and forge some lasting friendships and cute creative alliances and collaborations, and so on! 

Since EWF is a lit fest, we’re obliged to ask what kind of literature catches your attention?

I mainly read fiction (adult and YA). My genre preferences swing about based on my mood. I love anything with wonder, adventure, fantasy, queerness and mystery. I like to inhabit a character’s or author’s interesting connections, and I like odd and weird and surprising styles of thinking. I also love sentences and prose where a registrable degree of craft and HEART has been poured in!

Last night, I finished Cold Enough for Snow by Jessica Au, and wow! It felt like one seamless gush that also kept a sure and enveloping pace that kind of held me safe while also feeling roomy enough to ponder about in. 

What’s been cluttering your bedside table or filling up your watchlist lately?

Minor Details by Adania Shibli is another read I can’t stop thinking about. It’s in two parts, and the second protagonist has this agile brain and careful approach to charting of her surroundings that kept me absorbed in every line. It’s heavy and then also highly pleasurable.

Other things next to my bed are my partner’s ugly doll (brand name not personal assessment), Unlimited Futures edited by Rafeif Ismail and Ellen Van Neervan, and a cat hair comb, wooden school ruler, and crocheted square. 

Megan Payne is EWF’s Operations Manager for our 2024 festival, coming September 5-15. Stay tuned!!