The Emerging Writers’ Festival work, learn and play largely on the land of the Kulin nation, and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.

EWF celebrates the history and creativity of the world’s oldest living culture.

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Conference & Online

Jennifer Down: Why Write?

Must a work be political? Should it serve some higher moral purpose? Is aesthetic virtue enough? Author Jennifer Down doesn’t have the answers, but she has spent some time thinking about what it means to write for an audience versus writing for yourself. In her keynote address, she explores the tension between labor and life, the inherent weirdness of sharing your work, and what it means to keep putting one foot in front of the other as a working writer.


Why Write? is part of the National Writers’ Conference, a one-day online gathering of emerging writers on Zoom.  

Check out the full Conference program here 

To ensure the online event stays private, ticket holders will be emailed the relevant Zoom links 30 minutes prior to the Conference start time. Please check your email on the day of the event (including that pesky junk email folder). Ticket bookings will cease 1 hour before the Conference starts.  

You can download Zoom for free here. Read more about how to set up Zoom’s automatic transcription feature here. 

If you have any difficulty connecting to the event, please email us at [email protected] 


Jennifer Down

Jennifer Down is the acclaimed author of Bodies of Light (2021), Pulse Points (2017) and Our Magic Hour (2016), published by Text.